I was reading about Christmas traditions on Wikipedia, and it got me pretty interested - what sort of christmas traditions are about where you are? What do your families get into? Anything cool you used to do as a kid?
It's quite similar here to the UK and US traditions, except for a few details.
First of all, it occurs in the middle of summer here, so there is less snow playing and carrying on, because generally, there isn't any. Experiments with sand fights on the beach in the place of snowball fights were a gritty failure.
We don't generally have fireplaces - since in most places, it doesn't really get cold enough - but the places that do have them, stockings are meant to be hung from them, and most people I know without them hang stockings on bedroom doors or from walls, doors and windows near the tree, if they're hung at all.
Of course with the childeren, Food and drink is often left out for santa, usually some sort of sweet food for santa(unless your parents are filthy hippies, or new agey sorts), carrots for the Reindeer, and A beverage of some sort. While milk is acceptable, because of the heat, a curious substitute has arisen - Liquor. It's perfectly acceptable and reasonably common to give Santa a beer, dram of whiskey, or some rum. Pre-mixed rum and cola are also coming into favor recently, but NEVER alco-pops, because Santa isn't a slutty teenage girl anywhere except in my fonder dreams.
Rather than a Christmas dinner, Most families will have a Christmas lunch where all the family gathers around at a family member's place, and the usual niceties are exchanged along with gifts of varying quality. Vast amounts of food - usually Hams, Roast poultry(mostly chicken and ham), Kangaroo is gaining a small amount of popularity but is far from common, steaks, snags, seafood, salads, followed by confections of varied sorts and delciousness. Fruit mince pies, Boiled fruitcakes, Plum Pudding, Pavlova, cheesecakes, jelly(inevitably in the flavors of "Immediately dissapears" red and "Is there any jelly left oh nevermind" green) and similar sort of things are common, as is consuming roughly enough booze to put the children of the local liquor store's owner through college three times over.
Despite there being no snow in the majority of the country, snow decorations abound, for reasons nobody really understands. We have a lot of Australian style christmas songs, which normally involve lyrics about christmas in australia, or are australian-theme modifications of existing songs - you can find a list here, but most of them are fucking terrible.However, I could suggest A few somewhat better ones.
As a bonus, some we were listening to while sorting out the Christmas joints this evening -
I'd suggest you'd not put those on at work. Unless you work somewhere cool. Or you work somewhere shitty, and you don't want to anymore.
TV is hardly worth discussing, since we don't take ratings in the summer, and it's mostly re-runs, but you will tend to get christmas specials and such of whatever shows are being re-run, along with Christmas movie. Oddly, This year, we had Going Postal by Terry Pratchett on TV, and I didn't see Die Hard Anywhere, which is very unusual - though at my local JB hi-fi, they had a rack with a bunch of DVD copies of Die hard on special(among others) As "Christmas Favorites".
However, Boxing day, It's fucking on, son. Both the Boxing Day test cricket match and the Sydney to Hobart Yacht race are immensely popular on Boxing day TV. Other boxing day traditions include arguing, and remembering why you generally only see your family a few times a year for a reason.
Christmas lights are big here, with the council running Christmas Lights Bus tours, which roam around a number of areas, with most cities holding city-wide Christmas lights competitions. Carols by Candlelight
are televised, and a grand Christmas tradition. There is also the Adelaide Christmas Pageant
, which is the largest of it's kind in the world, however, we shan't discuss Adelaide, because Fuck Adelaide.
Also, there are special events for tourists at Bondi Beach, with large barbecue events and gimmicks like Surfing santas.
Religiousy sorts do religious sort of things. I don't really know what those involve.