Why Christmas in summer still does not gel with me?

In this blog, I would like to introduce you to one of our regular customers who posted this email to us. She intended to share another side of Christmas with our Australian readers. Here in Australia, we are all to customised to celebrate Christmas in summer. However, in many countries, Christmas is celebrated in the coldest and darkest season of the year. Here is her story:


In September 1992, I came with my two children, aged 5 and 13, to Australia. I was 32. Even I did some travelling in my “past life”, Christmas was always reserved for my home in Austria, the heart of Europe.

Since I was a small child, Christmas was s a magical time. My dad made sure it was that way. The Christmas Tree would fill at least one-third of the living room and was decorated with balls made from the fines glass, angel’s hair, wax candles, meringue, gingerbread and chocolate. All the Christmas presents were carefully arranged under the tree, and the door was closed.

What Christmas Day is in Australia, is Christmas Eve in Europe. The traditional Christmas Dinner is fish with potato salad. I do believe there is a religious reason for it. However, my family did not observe religious custom in any way, but Christmas was sacred.

After dinner, where my grandparents were present as well, the magic moment has arrived. My dad would open the living door room. All lights were turned off, only the golden glow of the candles lit the living room. The air smelled … like Christmas. Warm and sweet, while the snow raged in front of the window. The charm of Christmas had swallowed me whole. It was usually my grandmother who started to sing “Silent Night, holy night”, while the rest of us joined in one by one. Then it was time to unwrap the presents and wish each other a merry Christmas.

Sometimes, the entire family would go to observe the Midnight Mass. Even if you do not like to go to church, which I certainly did not, walking through the quiet, snow-covered streets at night, wrapped in a thick coat wearing mittens buried in my pockets was enchanting. It was freezing at this time there is no doubt about it. But then again, it was Christmas!


If you are still reading, you might understand why after 26 years, Christmas in Australia does not feel like Christmas to me. I tried to uphold Christmas Eve for my family as long as the boys were little, but like so many other things, Christmas Eve had to give way to the customs of my new home.

Now Christmas is mainly in the morning, and snow has become a faint memory. People come together for a BBQ and to celebrate Christmas with their family and friends. This is a very different Christmas. Over the years I have come to love the customs of my new home and Christmas on the beach feels a lot more warmer.