Here Comes Christmas Again, Australian Style

In less than two weeks it will be Christmas.


This will be my 10th Christmas in Australia, and like the nine Christmases before it, it doesn’t feel like Christmas. How can it? Temperatures at around 30°C here in Brisbane, blue skies, people walking around in shorts and T-shirts.

Whether it feels like it or not though, it is Christmas, it’s Christmas Australian style. I went out to South Bank Parklands yesterday, and even I noticed some subtle clues that Christmas was on its way.

Firstly, there was a Christmas market in full flow…

Christmas markets Christmas markets 2 Christmas markets 3 Christmas markets 4 Christmas markets 5

Not everybody was shopping at the markets though, some were chilling out with a drink in the beer garden, just sitting around on the grass…

Beer garden

Others, who had probably already done their Christmas shopping for the year, were having a bit of a swim…


Swimmers See how easy it is to forget it’s Christmas? As it got darker though, I was again reminded that Christmas is on its way, especially when the carol singers started…

Carol singersAnother big clue Christmas is around the corner is that some houses look like this…

Christmas decorationsYes, Christmas is on its way, whether it feels like it or not. I would imagine it does very much feel like Christmas to all Australians, born and bred, but for this Brit, it still takes some getting used to.

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{ 8 comments… add one }
  • Scott December 21, 2015, 1:16 am | Link

    Hi Bob it has been a crazy December in the UK this year. Highs of 15 to 17 degrees which is very warm for the time of year (you may chuckle at me thinking those temps are warm but December temps should be 0 to 3!). I haven’t even had to wrap up or wear my gloves yet! All of the spring plants are out such as daffodils and cherry trees have their blossom. Very strange, It doesn’t feel like Christmas here either! We have had far too much rain though and not much sun.
    I would love to spend a Christmas there. I currently work for a global bank and have the opportunity to apply for permeant positions overseas. They have an office in Sydney so I am waiting for the right job to come up. I think it will be a really good route into Australia.
    Best wishes & have a great warm Christmas,

    • BobinOz December 22, 2015, 9:49 pm | Link

      That is crazy hot for winter, and I’ll tell you why I know for sure. I had a little rule when I lived in England, if it was a sunny day, and the temperature was above 18° I would wear shorts to go out. So if you’ve got 17° in winter, that’s ridiculously hot.

      Are people going to the beach? 🙂

      Yes, I’d say a move with your employers is probably the best way to come out here, if you get the chance, snap it up. Merry Christmas to you too, Bob

  • Ronny December 16, 2015, 2:01 am | Link

    Indeed the Christmas’ season sounds differently depending on which hemisphere you are living on. I crave to experience this myself !

    I think this post is the start to wishing you and all the readers a merry christmas (and peace on earth).

    • BobinOz December 16, 2015, 10:24 pm | Link

      Yes, it is that time of year, isn’t it? Have a great Christmas and New Year Ronny.

  • djmcbell December 15, 2015, 7:15 pm | Link

    Christmas in Australia is going to be… odd.

    (we should be over there for next Christmas by the way)

    We visited Australia in December a few years back (well, November and December) and it was really strange seeing Christmas lights, trees etc. around Sydney in that heat. Or that sun. That being said, I think Christmas in the UK is all about being indoors – unless you live in a rural area, it mainly just seems grey (though not hugely cold this year).

    And guess what – my in-laws have said that, if we move over and settle before Christmas next year, they’ll come over to spend Christmas with us (and yes, I get on well with them – looking forward to it)!

    • BobinOz December 15, 2015, 9:54 pm | Link

      I think that’s a good point, Christmases in the UK are very much an indoor thing, here in Australia Christmases are an outdoor event. You will find people celebrating Christmas and Boxing Day on the beach, or in a public park using the barbecues, or in their own back gardens.

      Going away for Christmas seems to be far more common here in Australia, people like to go camping or to a holiday home by the sea. Enjoy your cold Christmas in the UK this year djmcbell, it will all be very different next year if all goes to plan.

  • Warwick Wakefield December 15, 2015, 5:36 pm | Link

    Oh Bob,
    you are still seeing things through English eyes.

    I grew up in Queensland, Brisbane and Redcliffe.
    I automatically think of Christmas as the time you wear shorts and T shirt, go to the beach, cruise around on your bicycle to new places, and read novels.

    But I’ve known Christmas in London. There is something extraordinarily beautiful about Christmas in London. The long evenings when you have to wrap up, the public singing of Christmas songs, and visiting friends and sitting around a fire while you talk into the night is wonderful.

    Both here and in London you can easily fall into the trap of drinking too much alcohol. But if you avoid the obvious pitfalls it is a splendid season in both places.

    Glad to see you’re back on deck,
    Have a wonderful Christmas,
    Love, Warwick

    • BobinOz December 15, 2015, 9:46 pm | Link

      Thanks Warwick, it’s good to be back.

      I suppose it is not surprising that I still see Christmases through English eyes, after all I witnessed almost 50 of them in that country. I realise that I haven’t made it clear in my article something that is very clear in my head.

      Just because it doesn’t ‘feel” like Christmas, doesn’t spoil Christmas. I’m just hardwired to thinking that Christmases should be cold, now that I can enjoy them in shorts under blue skies, Christmases have just become totally different, and I’m thoroughly enjoying the change.

      I’m certainly not pining for going Christmas shopping wearing a T-shirt, then another shirt, then a jumper, then a coat, plus a hat, a scarf, mittens AND long trousers. Christmases in both countries are fun, cold Christmases do have their charm, but I’m loving my new hot ones.

      Of course, for my daughter, she will always think of Christmases in the same way you do. She will associate them with summer holidays, barbecues, beaches and the swimming pool.

      Hope you have a great Christmas too, cheers, Bob

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