Writing Prompts: Christmas Down Under

For the 15th entry of our Meery Christmas Advent Calendar, let’s flip everything upside-down, and journey to Australia!

Australian Christmases aren’t something I have directly experienced, though my brother has. Australia has the strange situation of having inherited a lot of traditional British Christmas notions, half of which are horribly inappropriate for the climate. After all, December is in the middle of the Australian summer!

The peculiarities of this (and to be fair, they’re not peculiar if you live there) mean Christmas Day involves a lot of seafood (especially prawns), and trips to the beach. Should one’s house have a pool, it tends to be well-used!

Despite this, references to the typical British Christmas can be found in the decorations and the songs, and some Australians will make a traditional roast, even though the heat in the kitchen on a hot summer’s day must then approach unbearable levels. In another twist, Santa is greeted with gifts of beer: not a problem to me!

So much of how I may find an Australian Christmas to be unusual is due to a certain Pavlovian expectation as to how Christmas should be. We all have cultural biases, and I would guess that to many Australians, a cold Christmas stuck indoors must be equally weird. We would all do well to let go of our biases.

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