This will be our fourth Christmas in Australia, and although still learning, feel more educated about what to expect this year.
A lot of people wind down over this time, and most take multiple weeks holidays.
Therefore, Christmas isn’t such a big deal here. It just kind of creeps up on you. There isn’t the build up like in the U.K.
In fact, if it wasn’t for the odd bit of tinsel in shops, the few hanging lights here and there, or the small section in the supermarket dedicated to roses, quality street etc and decorations you wouldn’t even notice it when food shopping!
Christmas also comes around our longest day here. Meaning the lights on don’t have the same effect when the sun is blaring.
Rather than an opportunity to spend two weeks eating and watching tv, it’s an opportunity to have fun, relax, play on the beach and take holiday.
It’s quite a common thing for people to go on holiday from Boxing Day till New Years.
Christmas dinner can be whatever you want, wherever you want it. Some people do the whole U.K. thing at home, some bbq on the beach, others do a bit of both.
We eat lighter over Xmas here compared to the U.K. I don’t feel the need to stuff the fridge full of heavy food. Instead we take it day by day as we get out a lot.
Our first Christmas, we tried being too U.K. and that didn’t work well.
Last year and the year before, we packed too much in. We tried having Xmas lunch at home, then rushed to the beach for the afternoon and eve.
This year will be a little more slow. We will bbq at lunch, but lots of seafood, and have a picky buffet type thing with pavlova of course. Athough, quite tempted to pick up a KFC (yes it’s a think at Christmas here)…
Then, later we will probably head to a quiet beach and watch the sunset and have a swim.
The fact is, part of settling is finding your own rhythm. The settling takes time, but year by year you build on experience.