In Australia, Christmas comes in the middle of the summer holidays. Children have their summer holidays from early to mid December to early February, so some people might even be camping at Christmas.
Australians hang wreaths on their front doors and sometimes go out Christmas carol singing on Christmas eve. People also decorate their houses and gardens with Christmas Trees and Christmas lights. Neighbors sometimes have little competitions as to who has got the best light display. The neighbors often visit each other to look at the light displays at night.
Australians also decorate their houses with bunches of ‘Christmas Bush’, a native Australian tree with small green leaves and cream coloured flowers. In summer the flowers turn a deep shiny red over a period of weeks (generally by the week of Christmas in Sydney).
In each State capital city there is a large Carols by Candlelight service. Famous Australian singers help to sing the carols. These carol services, held in different cities, are broadcast on TV across Australia. There are also huge Christmas pageants in each state capital city, that are also broadcast across the country. Most towns and cities have festivals and parades. In some places, there is a fireworks display at the local park.
Many towns, cities and schools also hold their own Carols by Candlelight services, with local bands and choirs sometimes helping to perform the Christmas Carols and songs. As it is the middle of Summer in Australia at Christmas time, the words to the Carols about snow and the cold winter are sometimes changed to special Australian situation.
When he gets to Australia, Santa gives the reindeer a rest and uses kangaroos or ‘six white boomers’ (a popular Australian Christmas song). He also changes his clothes for less ‘hot’ ones.
Most families try to be home together for Christmas and the main meal is eaten at lunch time. Most people now have a cold Christmas dinner, or a barbecue with seafood such as prawns and lobsters along with the ‘traditional english’ food. On Christmas Eve, fish-markets are often full of people queuing to buy their fresh seafood for Christmas day.