Our Christmas Traditions

Aussie style Christmas

Christmas traditions in Australia tend to be different to our snow-covered northern hemisphere friends who rug up, sip egg nog and decorate alpine fir trees. I am sure my daughter, Benita, will making the most of her white Christmas in Canada this year and will come back with wonderful stories of the traditions there.

Up goes the Christmas Tree

Christmas traditions start for us long before Christmas Day. During all our Christmas experiences, we are constantly aware that the true reason for Christmas is centered around the birth of our Saviour Jesus. With him we have every reason to celebrate this wonderful time of the year. We don't completely deride Santa and all that, but it is only the side dressing, not the main course.

On 1st December, (or the weekend closest) we start setting up the house for Christmas. The tree goes up and all the various bits and pieces make their way to various locations. I have already been busy making plans and some Christmas crafts. Usually I can hardly wait to get cracking at it.

Benita makes a Gingerbread house

St Nicolas Day

My husband's parents are Dutch and part of the Dutch tradition is to celebrate Christ’s birth earlier in the month, St Nicolas Day. Now we tend to pick a day that appears to suit as many of his brothers and sisters as possible and have the extended party hosted in turn by one of his siblings. (My own parents have both died & my one sister lives a long way away and she has Christmas with her husband and his large family).
Generally speaking we would all bring appetisers & drinks to share. The main fare changes each year and is arranged by the host and then we split the costs to reduce the financial burden at an already cost laden time of year. It is a wonderful time of getting re-acquainted with all the nieces and nephews and now their little ones. I just love having little ones around at Christmas. It just seems that their wonderment is contagious and makes me appreciate the season through their eyes so much more.

Extended family gathers for a meal

Our Own Christmas

In the week before Christmas, we would drive around and look at the Christmas lights people set up in their yards and houses. We are heavily involved in our church and as such we are part of the huge Carols by Candlelight in the park where we will have in excess of 5,000 people turn up. My son is often part of the sound technician team and I am the craft coordinator for the 100 or so little kiddies we can expect to come to the craft tables. This will take a lot of preparations before the day and the whole day itself. It truly is a labour of love to see the pride in the kids with what they have made.

On Christmas Day

Christmas foods also form a part of our Christmas celebrations. Some are specific to Christmas time only.

Niece Casey made these delightful Santa Cupcakes

A long time tradition from my family is to have ham and cheese croissants for breakfast on Christmas morning frequently with everyone sitting on our big bed before quickly getting ready to head off to church. With 2 of our girls being Children’s ministers in their own churches, they are not able to join us until after lunch usually.

Lunch is the main fare Last year we BBQ’d marinated Pork Rib Racks which is something special for us and may become a new tradition in the years ahead.

As there are constant supply of appetizers such as veal croquettes, chicken dippings, salami triangles, mini quiches and such throughout the day, we well and truly do not need an evening meal. 

Sleigh full of Reindeer noses bags

Presents and Games

The afternoon is filled in with playing cards or board games as a family. When everyone has arrived we will pass out the presents for opening. If there are little children around, then they will be elves and Oma would be Santa's assistant who would give the elves the presents to pass onto the rightful recipient.

Handing our the presents

Boxing Day

Now that both our girls are working on Christmas Days and our son is available on call as a fireman, we have switched our main family celebrations to Boxing Day now.

We used to have a cold buffet often Leg of Double smoked Ham with Smoked chicken and salads. I guess that will now switch to Christmas Day... we'll see.

What are your traditions?

To see other Christmas Traditions, the go to Leslie's blog. Some of her followers have recorded their own traditions too!
More blogs to look at including some Christmas and thanksgiving posts can be found here.


  1. So nice to see how other's celebrate the holidays! I love those Santa cupcakes :))

    Thanks for sharing with my NO RULES Weekend Blog Party!


    1. Yes, Casey is quite talented with crafty things.
      I am really keen to get inspired by other people's Christmas decorating style - that is one of my weaknesses. I liked some of what I saw on your linkys.

  2. Lovely traditions! Those cupcakes are so neat and love your NOEL sign. Really pretty!

    Thank you for linking up with my Show & Tell Friday!

    God bless you - Julie

    1. Thank you Julie. I love setting up the party for Jesus' birthday and then the praises start...all for Him.

  3. As an American, I think this is such an interesting perspective on holiday traditions! :) Thanks for linking up with my Getting Ready for Christmas series. :)

    Leslie from Lamberts Lately

    1. it is always interesting to read how other people do things that we take for granted. Different seasons are only part of the whole story!

  4. Everything looks great. I love that the focus is on the spiritual aspect and Santa is the side dish. :)

    1. Thank you. Jesus is central to everyting we do. I cannot deny him. Santa is fun for the crafty bits.

  5. How lovely to see how you celebrate in the Southern Hemisphere! Thanks so much for sharing this with Festive Friday! :-)

    1. I don't know that I am so typical, esp with the Dutch heritage part celebrating earlier as well. A lot of Australians will put up with the heat and have a hot 'traditional' Christmas lunch esp if their heritage is recently from the northern hemisphere. I think you'll find that most 'younger' families opt for an outdoor style lunch to take advantage of our wonderful weather, whether it be sausages & steak or seafood on the BBQ or a cold meat buffet.

  6. It's great to see how you do things down under! I love the idea of driving around and looking at lights. Thanks for linking up! I hope you'll stop back by this week!

    1. Thanks for looking at my blog. Once I find a great site, I like to get back to it time and time again. I'll be back.


Thank you so much for popping by, I appreciate your comments!