|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*