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PityTheFool

Whats Christmas like in Australia???

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We have two young boys, 4 and 6, and christmas is a great time as they enjoy it sooooo much!

 

We have just been to both of their school plays today and they were excellent. My partner had tears (lol):cry:

 

But this got us wondering what christmas would be like when we get to Oz, it is big deal like in the UK? Do the schools get involved, i.e. nativities, carol singing, etc? The obvious difference is the weather, what effect does that have on the whole experience, is it better / worse or just different???

 

We would love to here any comments / experiences.......


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We do not have kids so can't comment about the schools, but they have big Carol concerts in parks, some houses around go mad with the lights round their house. It is strange as it is summer but gonna be great.


Up to stage 2 waiting for the 100 visa to be sorted !!!Loving the aussie life

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Yes the schools do concerts etc and get into the spirit! There are carols by candlelights held in lots of parks and citys and shops are full of the same xmas madness as the UK.

 

It will take you a while to adapt to a warm xmas but you will and the weather means that you can entertain outside in the garden with a few cold drinks into the night once your luch is finished. No more cramming everyone into the lounge by the fire!!

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Family affair, can't find a car park at the shopping centre prior to Christmas etc. Turkeys are big, barbies are also big, prawns and seafood. Boxing Day sale madness. Everyone takes off after Christmas for the summer holiday as its the long one in Aus. Schools back end Jan beginning of Feb. In Melbourne I hope we have a cool day as I am the cook and makes an easier task.

 

Kinders, schools etc all do the usual Christmas stuff, if they don't change schools


Petals

:ssign15:taking no prisoners :wink:

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Seems even more over the top in Australia if you ask me - whole aisles of tacky junk in the shops like special Christmas crockery, wine glasses, bakeware, tea towels etc. Proper kitchen stuff, not disposable, for using one day of the year!

 

I'm sure I read somewhere on here that you can't get Christmas crackers in Australia?! Maybe I imagined it, or they're new this year. Everywhere sells them anyway, but they are often called 'bon bons', which makes me think of teeth-pullingly hard toffee covered in icing sugar :oD


She'll be right!

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Seems even more over the top in Australia if you ask me - whole aisles of tacky junk in the shops like special Christmas crockery, wine glasses, bakeware, tea towels etc. Proper kitchen stuff, not disposable, for using one day of the year!

 

I'm sure I read somewhere on here that you can't get Christmas crackers in Australia?! Maybe I imagined it, or they're new this year. Everywhere sells them anyway, but they are often called 'bon bons', which makes me think of teeth-pullingly hard toffee covered in icing sugar :oD

 

Totally agree on the tack, its awful, I have been hunting for a gift shop that actually has little proper gifts, no just tack. Bon Bons that has crept in over the years with the yanky influence and I never get used to the name, crackers in our house. In fact we are not bothering with them this year, even the dear ones have tack, not that you expect something great, but something to laugh at etc. Bar humbug :laugh:


Petals

:ssign15:taking no prisoners :wink:

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I know people complain about christmas and the fact that its way over commercialised.............but kids love it!!!

 

I also know that this wont last for long as they will soon grow to learn that Santa actually lives alittle closer to home than they once thought :wink::wink: but its good to know that its still a big deal.

 

Petals - you mentioned that its a long christmas holiday, how long??? is this just for schools or do companies also close down???


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It takes a bit of getting used to having Christmas in the sunshine, doing your shopping in short and thongs rather than hat scarf and gloves. Because Christmas coincides with the end of the school year there's usually a lot going on at schools, excursions, our school has a community dance - the kids/band perform then there's a bush dance or disco - people take their picnics etc., it's a great evening. Our school state, hasn't had any nativity plays - i've assumed that because Australia doesn't officially have a religion that's the reason.


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Its the long summer holidays for schools,uni etc some companys do a shut down over christmas but most are back by the 15th at the latest.

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I find Christmas a bit strange over here as its warm compared to freezing in the UK and im away from my family..it is still a big thing ...stuff everywhere..decorations up... I dont have children but worked in a school last year and they had a big end of year play not nativity and christmas carols. The kids I babysit here love it as well but ask me why Santa is always shown being in the snow :) so cute!! Like above its the kids summer holidays at Xmas which I think is nice !

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I find it hard to get into Christmas over here - even after 9 years!! It just doesn't feel as christmasy! I think the dark evenings in the UK are what makes the difference for me - the lights come one earlier and you see them even in the early evening, whereas here it doesn't get dark until later, so you really have to take a specific drive out to see the lights!

 

Love

 

Rudi

x


 

 

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As a 40 yr old miserable get, I much prefer Chrimbo over here, purely due to the fact that I hate autumn & winter weather in the UK. That said, if I was a kid, I think I'd go for the UK version; as long as there was some snow and not just wind & rain & dark.

If you get your kids over here young, they'll love the fact that Xmas & summer holidays are combined. If your kids are older, they might pine for what they know. Schools are great at Xmas here, the kids really go for it.

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I find it hard to get into Christmas over here - even after 9 years!! It just doesn't feel as christmasy! I think the dark evenings in the UK are what makes the difference for me - the lights come one earlier and you see them even in the early evening, whereas here it doesn't get dark until later, so you really have to take a specific drive out to see the lights!

 

Love

 

Rudi

x

 

 

This is pretty much how feel after being in the Southern Hemisphere for 7 years. Even now I keep forgetting it's nearly Christmas a lot of the time. I forget to open the kids advent calendars. I just can't get used to Christmas in the middle of summer. I miss mulled wine in the cold dark winter nights strangely enough. lol.


It is not economical to go to bed early to save the candles if the result is twins - Chinese proverb

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I think if you've got young kids you still get really into it. I have not heard of any of the schools near us doing the nativity but they do, lots of concerts and open air stuff. I prefer it here, the build up isnt so bad, but the weather does mess with your head, walking around air conditioned Malls and then out into the hot sunshine is weird, also spending time with friends rather than being forced to spend time with family in my book is a plus :biggrin:

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I had my first festive moment today! I was running early for my GP appointment so wandered around the shopping centre. Outside Target I could hear "It's The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year" by Andy Williams. I nearly ran into Target to buy Christmas decorations! But I didn't hohoho bah humbug!


She'll be right!

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Shouldnt think there would be that many nativity plays - too PC for that! I cant recall ever seeing one in Australia in all my time there, now you come to mention it.

 

After 32 years I never got used to a S Hemisphere Christmas - somehow Jingle Bells loses its appeal when sweat is pouring from every pore and Santa arrived on th 30 October in the malls (where the malls are allowed to HAVE Santa, of course - PC has occasionally gone mad with the anti Christmas thing over the years - no nativity tableau, no "Christmas" trees, no carols, Happy Holidays etc. No idea what it is like this year and some jurisdictions are PC-er than others)

 

This will be my first proper Christmas in a while - and I am in the mood already!!! I am anxious that we havent actually got decorations up this year although I havent bothered even putting cards up for the past 10 years or so in Australia. I am hoping for snow - a really iconic Christmas!!!!

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Christmas is different here. You don't sit around watching crap telly for a week eating and drinking till you burst. It is in the middle of the holiday season, its usually hot, it won't snow, you can have prawns for lunch with a glass of cold Chardonnay.

 

I guess what I am saying is - its different. I loved Christmas in Scotland but hated the aftermath, also known as January and February. Here, I like Christmas Day, but don't get the same festive 'vibe'.


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We have only been here a few months but are still trying to get used to Christmas here. But we have seen tons of nativity plays, carols in churches and parks and love how Christmas-y it all feels.

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I'm very glad to see these responses as I love UK Christmas!! When I took my British hubby over to Melb for Christmas 5 years ago, we couldn't even tell it was Christmas and my family told me about a solitary local 'nutter' who had lights all over his house for Christmas (they would want to see our street here, it's like the Blackpool illuminations) and about how they've toned it all down to be PC and not offend other religions etc.

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Guest aholloway

Hi,

We've been here for nearly a month and i hate to say that it doesn't feel like Christmas at all!!

I took my daughter to see Santa the other day and was dissapointed to find they dont have grottos over here like in the UK. It was also very expensive, $20 for a photo with no present and that was the cheapest option!!

 

On the other hand we went to one of the carols by candlelight the other day which was very sweet and for the first time it seemed a little like Christmas.

I cant see that i'll ever get used to shopping for Christmas pressies in my shorts, but its early days for us and hopefully as time goes on, it will get better.

Your family is young enough to adapt to the Aussie way and i'm sure you'll have a fab time!!

 

All the best

Ang x

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Guest GillinOz

Same here Ang, our first crimbo here in Oz, and it's never felt further away! But having said that, I've got the decs up and pressies are bought (not yet wrapped), and I'm determined to enjoy it even if it means cranking the air con on full belt cos we love everything else about Australia so far x

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I've only been here 17 yrs so hey, what do I know???????? One thing I do know, is that this thread is more weighted towards folk enjoying Ozzy Xmas than it was last year (on PIO)

 

Xmas is Xmas (very profound!) It is what you make it and my kids and other pommy kids that I know, have never had an issue with it, even those who have come over in their (just) pre teens and later. It seems the adults seem to have more of a problem, so if you consider that it is all about the adults, then fair enough, but for me, it's about the kids enjoyment of it. As for lack of nativity plays etc, there must be a parallel universe out there, 'cause my kids have enjoyed one every year since coming here, and they've also enjoyed literally hundreds of people rocking up outside our door to enjoy the lights on our house (bar the current year 'cause I'm now too old to be climbing on my roof).

 

It's what you make it, and if you can't, or simply refuse to, let go of your past experiences in the Uk and continually draw comparisons, then you likely won't enjoy it.

 

Me...........my wife and my kids..............simply love it.


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I wouldn't call it "toned down" here. It starts with a Christmas parade in late November, a Christmas Toy Run (nearly 8000 motorcycles laden with toys and other donations for charity) thundering down the highway (which is closed to other traffic), Christmas concerts, a Christmas pantomime, Carols by Candlelight in parks and churches, Christmas markets, Christmas Giving Tree (hosted by the local ABC studio), nativity plays, lots of special food in the shops, Christmas programs on TV (mostly very cheesy), Christmas Eve "lolly runs" by the local fire brigades with Father Christmas throwing sweets for the kids, lots of prawns, lobsters. turkey, ham, roast vegies, Christmas pudding, trifle, pavlova, raspberries and cream, and a free traditional dinner on Christmas Day for anyone with nowhere else to go.

Maybe we are less PC than other parts of Australia.

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Christmas in Oz is hot, the school in Melbourne and Cairns that my children went/go to have never had nativity plays, however they do Carols in the Park etc.

i can't get in to the Xmas spirit the same, mainly because of the weather, as children we were brought up with a cold Christmas, family get togethers and lots of snow(well there was when I was a kid) now the children on the other hand and all the locals enjoy Christmas especially as its their summer holidays as well.


If you are depressed you are living in the past. If you are anxious you are living in the future. If you are at peace you are living in the present.

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As for lack of nativity plays etc, there must be a parallel universe out there,

 

There is - it's called Canberra. :wink:

 

(Although my little Canberra nephew does a nativity play each year, but he does go to a Catholic school).

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