Monday, November 28, 2011

Hot Aussie Chrissie

By Liia Ann White

Christmas in Australia is celebrated very differently from how people see a ‘traditional’ Christmas with hot turkey, snow, couples snuggled up by the fireplace etc. A typical Aussie Christmas – or Chrissie, since we like to shorten everything – is spent in shorts, skirts and singlets (tank tops). Or bathers J

My Christmases are a bit different from most (especially Americans), because we’re not a religious family. While some have their faith, they aren’t churchgoers. I, personally, am not religious at all – I’m spiritual. I love nature, science and animals.
So, today I thought I’d share a bit about a regular Aussie Christmas in the White House.

I come from a big family with a lot of Aunties, Uncles and cousins, even second cousins. And with 3 living grandparents as well, we’re a nice big family.

Each year, my Mum’s side of the family has a big Christmas lunch that starts at 11. With my generation getting older, having kids, getting married etc, the numbers alternate from year to year with most cousins spending every second Christmas with us and other years with their partners’ families.

Christmas mornings are spent with the immediate family, which includes the dogs, sharing presents and just being us. If lunch is at our house, the majority of the morning is spent double-checking everything’s set with tables, food and room outside.
The family lunch is from 11am until whenever, usually 2pm or pretty close to. We catch up with cousins we haven’t seen for a couple of months, hang out with our grandparents (my Nanna & Grandad are the best!) and discuss all sorts of things. There’s never a dull moment at a Christmas lunch.
Then there’s the evening and night.

Our house is an open house on Christmas night. Every year. Once we’ve finished with lunch, we usually relax for a little while, clean up some things and get all the food we have strategically put into the fridge. At about 4pm or so people start showing up. This includes brother’s girlfriends, my Dad’s side of the family, family friends (who we pretty much classify as family anyway) and friends.
We hang out, eat, drink, play games, board games and basically have a great time. Being a very sarcastic group of people there’s always a lot of yelling, laughing, swearing and a LOT of fun being had.

Last year’s Christmas night was particularly messy. We’d just got a bar on our back patio and my brother decided it was a good idea to have a shot-a-thon. Yes… Really. Right here I cringe at the memories. With Christmas lunch being at our house, there was a lot of leftover food, punch, soft drink and, of course, the alcohol bought to prepare for the shot-a-thon. Eating, drinking, laughing, dancing – all with the people you love? I wouldn’t spend my Christmas nights any other way.

My Christmases growing up were fantastic and as we’ve grown, our routine hasn’t changed. We may get up later in the mornings and go to sleep later, but the days are pretty much the same.

So how do you guys spend your holidays?

**Everyone who leaves a comment has the chance to win an e-copy of Her First White Christmas (which releases on December 2) as well as an e-copy of any two – yes TWO – Decadent Publishing books of your choice.

And the winner will be picked by – as always – my dog Buda.**

As a little sidenote, it’s my Mum’s birthday today, so Happy Birthday Mummy! *huggles*

Liia J


  1. Your Christmas sound wonderful!! I especially like the eating and drinking all day long. Hahaha! You'll find out about how I spend my holidays on the 28th. ;)

  2. Sounds like a memorable Christmas every year. :) We're having my family and my DH's family over for Christmas this year. We are the only one on both sides, so the celebrations are still quite small. Happy Holidays, Liia!

  3. I meant the only ones on both sides with kids. LOL

  4. We stay home Xmas Eve, and the kids do the church play. On Xmas morning, inlaws come up. Then, Xmas night, we go to my family's house.

    Xmas Eve is always wrapping day for us as well. With a bottle of wine. LOL

  5. We stay home for Christmas. My mom isn't able to go anywhere so that night everyone comes here. I love family get togethers.

    koonie2888 at yahoo dot com

  6. Happy Birthday to your mom, Liia.

    We always get together with my dad's family on Xmas Eve. Living close to Lake Michigan, we generally have a lot of snow & the number of people who brave the drive on icy roads always makes it that much more special. My mom's sister was born on Dec. 26, so we generally celebrate with that side of the family on the day after Christmas. Adding in Christmas day for immediate family that is in the area & additional celebrations with several groups of friends, makes it seem like Christmas lasts for a week, but we love it.

    drainbamaged.gyzmo at

  7. I like the eating and drinking all day, too!

    We usually take several days and visit folks; especially the ones who are ill and house-bound. They always enjoy our visits and so do we.

    I hope your mum has a great and fun-filled birthday!

    Tracey D
    booklover0226 at gmail dot com

  8. Great post! Your Christmas' sound so fun! Congrats on your upcoming release! I love a good Christmas story! Happy Birthday to your mom! Hope she has a wonderful day! Thanks for sharing and giving us a chance to read your book! Have a wonderful day! Happy holidays to you!

  9. Live in South Australia

    Sounds like my Chrissie, we have never eaten at home for lunch or dinner.

    Lunch is always a BBQ at the local park or relies backyard. Dinner is usually leftovers. LOL

    In the morning we get up early have brekkie with the kids, get ready for the day then we open the presies with the kids and leave around 9 to do the family rounds on one side of the family. Have lunch.

    Then in the arvo do the family rounds on his side of the family and do the same routine again.

    I live in South Australia but sometimes I would love to have a white Christmas


  10. Great post. I would love a shot-a-thon considering if we were able to be outside for Christmas it'd be in parkas and toques :) We'd need the shots to keep us warm.

    For our Christmas everyone heads over to my parents house for Christmas dinner.Everyone gets there around noon.Kids get to open presents and time to play while the adults get to start to make dinner.after dinner we usually play some type of game and just hang out and chat and have fun.

    Congrats on your upcoming release


  11. Sounds very American Fourth of July...just add fireworks to the drinking! Yeeha!

  12. Lila, today is my mom's birthday too! You also share my neice's name!

    We are so tickled that this year we will be able to go to my mom's for Christmas. With hubby's work schedule and my 93 year old grandma living with my mom, we don't get together as often as we would like!

    Thank you for the giveaway!

    books4me67 at ymail dot com

  13. We celebrate an early family Christmas with assorted sister's and their families the Saturday before Christmas. Then it's a quiet Christmas Eve for my hubby and I, and Christmas Day is when everyone shows up for a big ham and lasagne dinner.

    caity_mack at yahoo dot com

  14. Forgot to post my addy *hand slap to face* LOL

    cherylnne at adam dot com dot au

  15. Liia, your Christmas sounds like a lot of fun. Ours is very low key. Our family is spread all over the country, so it's hard to get everyone together.


  16. I LOVE how you celebrate the holiday! Just the fact that you get to wear shorts while we're shivering under layers of clothes makes me jealous and I now know where I'm going to spend this Chrissie. So make room for my sleeping bag. LOL. And I'm sending a virtual doggie treat to increase my odds of winning.

    joderjo402 AT gmail DOT com

  17. Cherylnne a white Christmas is nice, but I don't think anything beats an Aussie one.
    Thanks so much for sharing how you all celebrate the holidays! It's always interesting to see how other people celebrate and spend their holiday season.
    And thanks for the bday wishes for my Mum! She's currently in Bali relaxing on a holiday, so I'm sure she's having a great time :-)

  18. Wake up, eat, open pressies, eat, drink, eat some more, drink some more, open more pressies, eat, drink, sleep, eat, drink, drink, drink....

  19. A shot-a-thon? Next year I'm coming to your house for Christmas! (Okay, really that's just an excuse to get to Australia.)

  20. I would love to spend Christmas in shorts or swimsuits. I don't like cold. Occasionally, it will be warmer where I live (feel more like fall) but most of the time it is COLD!
    Hope you have a wonderful holiday!
    manning_j2004 at yahoo dot com