|The cutest Christmas decorations|
I must say that hearing carols when it’s 25 degrees outdside and there’s no sign of snow somehow made me appreciate them more. I’m not generally a huge fan of carols but I couldn’t help but grin whenever I was surprised by one while shopping.
Forget group dinners in a stuffy indoor venue, or lame bowling arenas. How about a Christmas party where you go canyoning and abseiling? Or for a surf lesson? Christmas in the sun opens up a whole new realm of work party opportunities.
|Abseiling in the Blue Mountains|
Growing up having had a real Christmas tree every year made it difficult to put up with a plastic tree this year. I will always definitely favour the real thing with all its pine-smelling greatness. It’s not impossible to have a real tree in Australia, it’s just not common.
|It takes effort to put up the real thing|
It seems that Aussies, in the case of Christmas lights, tend to take the all-or-nothing approach. I was fortunate enough to spend Christmas with my Aussie friend and her family. Being a Melbournian, she had the inside scoop when it came to seeing the best Christmas lights in Melbourne. The city has a tradition where certain neighbourhoods agree to dress up their homes, turning them into elaborate Christmas displays. These light displays run for a set period of time in December and all the homes in these neighbourhoods are expected to participate. There are set times when lights are expected on and off and all this info can be found online. On the most popular streets, onlookers arrive in large numbers and often police have to control the crowds and temporarily turn two-way streets into one-way streets. For an even more enjoyable experience, you can visit homes where the light display is matched to music. At these particular homes, you tune your car radio to the specified radio frequency, as displayed on a sign, and watch the lights dance to the beat of popular Christmas Carols.
|Santa keeping fit|
For a good laugh on Christmas morning, why not flip through an Aussie version of a popular Christmas tale? To get the most out of this exercise, be sure you are either in the presence of someone who can translate the Aussie jargon, or you’ve been in the country long enough to understand it yourself.
|Bestsellers at one point I'm sure|
Mixed reports on this one. Some Aussies report at least spending part of Christmas day on the beach while others have other, beach-less traditions. I made a stop at the beach on Christmas day, mostly to say I did, and I found the beach to be fairly empty. This may have been due to the location, or perhaps the sub-optimal weather conditions. Regardless, it wouldn’t be the worst place to spend December 25th.
|A little windy but still better than snow and ice|
I personally loved being able to spend Christmas outdoors, enjoying the sunshine and company in my friend’s backyard. It stayed dry for the majority of the day which gave the children who were present an opportunity to burn off their sugar and gift-highs, perhaps the best Christmas present their parents could ask for.
|Makeshift Christmas tree|
|The outdoor photobooth - no need to clear any snow off|
|Raspberries and blueberries at Christmas time!|