Rearing up on the final stretch, “12 Countries in 12 Days of Christmas” has come to Day 10, and today our good friend Kelsie’s going to be talking to you about Australia. You know, where it’s hot during Christmas. Kelsie hails from Melbourne, and is about the best cinematographer around—her current job is taking her around the world, and she’s been able to bring great cheer to people as far as Ghana and India with her amazing work. We’re excited to share what she has to say about “The Most Wonderful Time of Year” down under!
What is a typical Christmas in Australia like?
I can only speak for the suburban-middle-class Australian Christmas, but I have a feeling it’s pretty similar all around Australia. A hot Australian Christmas is just about the best memory one could hope for, I think. Wake up early to some weet bix and fresh fruit, head down to the beach for a swim, get real burnt (in my case, 2nd degree burns from falling asleep while I was reading a book), then head home for a barbecue. For the whole holiday season (which literally is our summer holidays), it’s just a lot of beach time, even if you don’t claim yourself a surfer. Aussies are pretty on top of fashion trends, so theres a lot of shopping going on too. Beach, shopping, barbecuing and beers.
What are some Christmas traditions in your own family?
We have a big Christmas eve party nearly very year at our house. Lots of friends, food, singing and games. On Christmas day it’s tradition to have a big breakfast before we open presents. We’ve refined our breakfast taste over the years to fresh fruit, smoothies and pancakes.
My favourite Christmas memories however are hands down all the baking that happens in December. Hot weather doesn’t stop the baking in our house. We play Christmas music (my favourite being old English carols, sacred choral music or Mariah Carey’s infamous christmas album) while we bake all the food my body craves 24/7.
What food/meals are a part of the holiday season?
Barbecuing is the biggest thing in Australia, so a lot of steak, chicken and hot dogs on the grill. Actually, I think it’s because of all this barbecuing that I can only eat dark meat if its really, really, really well done- basically charcoaled black.
Because of the amount of time on the beach during Christmas, fish and chips is inherently a summer staple. This has hands down go to be the one thing I think about the most when I am living outside of Australia. A good batch of chips with some fresh fish, sitting at the local fish’n’chips shop or eating it on the beach, it is absolutely heavenly I tell you. Heavenly.
I was about to wrap up this question with that, but I guess people do have a nice roast on Christmas if it’s not too hot to have the oven on for hours. Often the turkey and chicken will just be served cold with some salad and prawns. A classic dessert would be a pavlova or just cake and ice cream in my family.
What songs/music to Australians listen to?
It wasn’t until I moved to the States that I realized how many Christmas songs reference snow, hot chocolate and a fire place. It’s a beautiful contradiction in Australia, but we listen to and sing them anyway. This Six White Boomers song is the most popular one that comes to mind that is uniquely Australian at christmas time. Boomers are kangaroos. And also the Australian version of the 12 days of Christmas.
What symbol represents Christmas best in Australia?
Easy. Santa in board shorts, riding the surf.