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Christmas around the world – New South Wales

I’ve now spent Christmas in Aus for twenty-four, out of a possible twenty-six years of living here. Every year it’s the same, the feeling of surprise when hearing the first Christmas carols while shopping, around the beginning of November. I don’t think I’ll ever get accustomed to hot sunny days and Christmas celebrations. Given an option, I much prefer the cold, dark and sparkly Christmas that we enjoyed in the UK. The “setting” was perfect there.

We have a family get-together and the gifts are always piled under the tree, not to be opened but only admired, until Christmas morning. Then, after breakfast, we all sit around and the gifts are handed out, and opened, while we ooh and aah over each one. Having a three-year-old granddaughter certainly adds a lot of pleasure to this time.

We’ve always had the traditional Christmas dinner with all the trimmings. A turkey with stuffing, bacon and sausages, roast potatoes, pumpkin and sweet potato. I steam the rest of the veggies, and make the gravy from the meat juices after skimming off all the fat. We’ve started to cook the turkey on Christmas Eve. It saves time on the day, plus, if it’s very hot, the last thing we need is the oven blasting out more heat for hours. Dessert is, of course, the traditional Christmas pudding with rum sauce.

We just laze around after that, and everyone helps themselves, if and when, to whatever they fancy to eat.

Australia is renowned for its fine seafood, and most people choose to eat this for their Christmas dinner as an alternative to the also famous Aussie BBQ. Lots of people flock to the beaches to celebrate the day too.

Good job it only happens once a year, I say.

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