Christmas in Australia

Kareana Jensen

This will be my first white Christmas!

We moved to Canada in February of this year, which means we spent last Christmas in Aussie land, cooking like turkeys!

This year, it will be the turkey, not the family that will be doing the cooking. We are very excited to have a white Christmas this year with the full turkey and roast dinner—I have never done this before and intend on going all out!

Our last few Christmases were spent in our previous mining community of Middlemount. Middlemount is in Queensland, about two hours from the Ocean. We moved there in 2005. The town was like a ghost town during Christmas, as there was a mass exodus out of the place during the holiday season. Not many people had family in Middlemount—it was a transit, purpose built mining community. During Christmas, some years you could stand on the street and look up and down and not see anyone!

We choose to stay put the last few Christmases. We would wake and have a special breakfast. The air conditioning would be whacked on super early and then we would do the present unwrapping.

Our Christmas lunch was just platters of cold meats, cheeses, olives, crackers etc, and lots of cooked sweets.

We always had a water fight and slip-and-slide in the afternoon. We would pull out a huge tarp and suds it up and just go for it. Anyone else floating about in the neighbourhood would join in. People would often have a game of cricket, although this was more typical on Boxing Day.

The last few years we had a BBQ dinner and drinks with special friends after getting wet. We would sit outside until late and have meat done in the Webber and salads. The kids would run about with sparklers and glow sticks—jumping on the trampoline etc. That’s about it! Christmas was super laid back. We could walk the streets to pop in and see friends and deliver gifts etc.

In our town we had kangaroos hopping down the street like people imagine Australia to be like. It was very hot and quiet on Christmas. The town pool would open on Boxing Day and that was usually where we would go and spend most of the day. You could BBQ there and it was a big 50m outdoor pool. It was really the only place to go and it was pretty traditional for most of my friends and their kids to congregate there on Boxing Day.

The most memorable Christmas was when we had an extra 22 people (an assortment of family and friends) come for Christmas in Middlemount. We had a tiny three bedroom house (and a family of 5 ourselves) and people camped, stayed with friends and in vacant house that friends lent whilst away.

We strung massive tarps all up the side of the yard to create a large shaded area (and Greenhouse to swelter under!) cut down a native tree that kind of looks Christmas like, decorated it and had a huge Christmas with heaps of games, food, playing botchy, cricket, cooling off in the outdoor pool and more.

We were outside all the time and it was an awesome mix of young and old and still rates to many of those who went, as the best Christmas ever, in a hole of a town, in the middle of the bush! Who would’ve thought!