Christmas is a time for Christians to celebrate the birth of Jesus. Many people in Australia, even if they are not Christians, give each other gifts, prepare special meals and decorate their homes at this time of year. Some families love decorating their home so much, that they enter local Christmas competitions, trying to be the house with the best decorations in their area. Local residents can drive past the decorated houses and vote for their favourite one.
People often spend Christmas Day with family members or close friends. As Christmas Day falls in the middle of the summer school holidays, many people celebrate the occasion away from home, in holiday parks, on camp sites or at relatives’ homes.
On Christmas Day, children receive presents in stockings under the Christmas tree from Santa Claus. In the weeks before Christmas, they write letters to him so that he knows what they want.
Many people eat a special meal on Christmas Day. Traditionally, the main meal is similar to the Christmas meals served in Europe. People eat roast meats and vegetables, fruit cakes and steamed puddings. However, nowadays, many people choose to have a barbecue at the beach or a picnic in the park, or to prepare a meal of cold meat and seafood, followed by Pavlova, a soft meringue cake topped with whipped cream and fresh fruit.
Australia is a multi-cultural country, therefore, there are many other ways in which Christmas in celebrated. Catholics often attend midnight mass, which starts at midnight on Christmas Eve. People of other religions attend special church services during the day on December 25th.
How will you be spending Christmas Day this year? Wherever you are and whoever you are with, we hope that you have a wonderful day and we look forward to seeing you in the New Year.