Christmas and it is hot in Australia

Happy New Year everyone and I wish you good health, happiness and prosperity in 2013.

As most of my readers are anywhere but Australia and the majority live in the Northern Hemisphere I thought I would share what an Australian Christmas is like.

While most of you are rugged up and some of you had a White Christmas, we are in the middle of summer. It depends where you live in Australia just how hot it is but for me it was 30 degrees Celsius (about 86 in the USA). The city I grew up in had a whopping 44C (111 USA).

As I live in a seaside holiday resort type town we headed for the beach early morning.

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I took this photo as soon as we were arrived here which was around 7 AM. By the time we left the beach was packed with people.

At 7 AM there were people claiming their spot for the day and some were already into the champagne. Clearly many people were there for the day judging by the amount of food and drinks they had with them.

2012-12-25 07.56.59


I was enjoying listening to the Germans, English, Irish and a variety of other tourists all enjoying their Aussie Christmas.

Not everyone goes to the beach. For me  it is just sort of nice when you have a Christmas away from your families to do that and be in the buzz of people.

Last year we were in Perth (where I grew up) and we had a family Christmas at my brother’s house. There were kids and presents and we all stayed in the air conditioning as it was hot there last Christmas too.

So what do we eat at Christmas?

This had changed over the years as we have more generations of us that were born in Australia. When I was growing up because  all of my grandparents were from the UK we did the  British traditional hot lunch.

Over the years many of us have  decided that is too hard. Who wants to slave over a hot oven in heat? So we have gravitated to things like seafood, cold hams, cold turkey and lots of salads.

We even have Christmas Ice-Cream cakes in Australia.

Not everyone does this some still do the hot meal but most people are like us.

So we started with Smoked Salmon, then some prawns (shrimp) in a salad, fruit and Ice-cream. Oh and lots of champagne and chilled wine.

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Many people who come here to live from the Northern Hemisphere comment that it never feels like Christmas. As I grew up here it is what I know as Christmas.

I had one Christmas in London but it did not snow. It was just miserably cold and raining. One day I want to do a White Christmas, preferably in New York.

The Traditional Christmas Cake

Australia is very multicultural so we like to mix things up. Traditionally most of us ate the English type Christmas Cake. This year apparently we purchased far more of the Italian Panettone as the cake of choice.  I even saw people eating them for breakfast at the beach!

In Summary

If you live in the northern hemisphere most things in Australia are opposite. We have summer while you have winter, we sleep while you  work and for the most of you we are already “tomorrow”.  Oprah once said “I know the world is not going to end because it is already tomorrow in Australia!”

If you have enjoyed learning about what we do in Australia for Christmas please share it with your friends as not many people know much about us.






Sue Price
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46 thoughts on “Christmas and it is hot in Australia

    1. Sue Price Post author

      Hi Gen

      I know I love learning about other cultures and countries. It was a lovely day and the most relaxed Christmas I think I have had.

      Funny to read you are having snow and we are trying to keep cool 🙂

      I love that we can be connected now by the internet.

      Sue Price recently posted..Christmas and it is hot in AustraliaMy Profile

      1. Gen

        That is so very true Sue. I am glad we can connect too. And while it was not exactly a White Christmas. It was fun to get snow because that hardly ever happens. Especially enough to have a snow ball fight. And I loved Christmases where you just get to relax, we did that this year too. Just calm and peaceful and spent our day with our kids. It was awesome.
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        1. Sue Price Post author

          Hi Gen

          I guess for you living somewhere where it does not usually snow makes it special. Isn’t having a calm, peaceful Christmas so nice? I remember many years having mobs of family and stressing out. I am over that type of day.

          Have a great week Gen

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  1. Michael A. Buccilli

    Hello Sue, you have lately been telling our “Mastermind” hangout group: Donna Merrill, Raena Lynn, Barbara charles, Adrienne Smith, and me some of these ways that many Australians celebrate Christmas – and that the weather is opposite ours here in the Northern Hemisphere.

    Your post here is a bit more detailed I find it so cool. Thank you for sharing more of your world with us.
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    1. Sue Price Post author

      Hi Michael

      Isn’t it great that now with the internet and our technology we can learn more about each other. I love connecting with people around the globe.

      Thanks for your comment Michael. I love our Mastermind group and your support.

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          1. Michael A. Buccilli

            Oh yes, Sue, before all the Social Networks, all that there was, was called BBS boards and it was basically MS DOS texting, wasn’t windows based. Then Sites like Compuserve and then AOL.

            I bought our first computer when I was married to my first wife Natalie. We bought it for our son. It was a Tandy RL 1000 and had a whopping big hard drive of 8 mega bytes and a chip speed of 256. Our son was 5 and it was in 1988.
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            1. Sue Price Post author

              Wow Michael you do go back a long way. I have never heard of BBS boards but have heard of Compuserve and AOL.

              We got a computer in our business in the mid 80’s. I know it cost a lot back then but that is all I can tell you.
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  2. Mayura

    Hi Sue,

    You are in the top of the list to celebrate Christmas and New Year before other countries do, no? 🙂

    It’s really nice to live in a seaside and here I’m 15 minutes away too 🙂 Well, if someone wanna go out and enjoy.

    I have many school friends live in Austrailia around Melbourne, but I’m not hearing ’em much though 🙂 So I have no idea much about the culture at Austrailia but they say the weather is quite similar to my country here 🙂 However we have no snow but a HOT Christmas, sometimes mixed with rain too.

    Though I heard about weather I thought it’s just like every other place for Austrailia. Well, as you say not in every part 🙂 Hmm… It’ really great to know about other parts of the World with personal views Sue 🙂

    Have a fabulous weekend there dear 🙂

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    1. Sue Price Post author

      Hi Mayura

      Yes I think we are second to celebrate Christmas and New Year after New Zealand.

      I just asked you in another comment where you live. I thought you were in the USA but clearly not 🙂

      We also get rain in summer where I live. As Australia is so big the weather varies a lot. The further north the hotter and more tropical it is. Right up the top we get cyclones. The very far south is cooler most of the time and there is some snow in the mountains in a very small part of Australia.

      I too love learning about other countries.

      Enjoy the rest of your weekend and thanks so much for your comment Mayura.

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        1. Sue Price Post author

          Ah Sri Lanka. I understand now you would have hot weather always. 🙂
          I have spent a bit of time in Asia. Been to Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Hong Kong. Still to get to Sri Lanka.

  3. Viola Tam

    Hi Sue,

    What a refreshing blog post! I enjoyed reading it. You have shared some great pictures too. That is indeed a wonderful ‘virtual’ experience for your readers 🙂

    I think you are wise to have chosen simpler and ‘cooler’ dishes. Christmas is never a big thing for me as I am not a religious person. I do not like to do Christmas shopping when finding a parking space is usually so difficult during the festive season. I do want to experience a White Christmas though!

    Italian Panettone as breakfast at the beach? Very interesting!

    Thanks, Sue 🙂

    Viola The Business Mum
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    1. Sue Price Post author

      Hi Viola

      I was prompted to write this as I had several online friend form the northern hemisphere who did not know it was our summer.

      I am not religious either Viola, more spiritual but growing up Christmas was a big deal. I liked it most when our kids were small.
      Oh yes I am much happier doing the simple dishes. We have gravitated to seafood over the years.

      Yes I thought the Panettone on the beach was an interesting breakfast too.

      I am with you on shopping too and parking in Sydney is impossible. I remember one year going to Chatswood with my daughter and driving around for over an hour to get a park. No fun! This year I did what I could online.

      Thanks for your comment Viola. Have a great rest of your week.

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  4. Sue Neal

    Oh, Sue – what we wouldn’t give for just a teensy-weensy bit of your lovely sunshine. The UK is sinking under a deluge of rain – I’d even be glad to have a bit of snow, we’ve just had months of relentlessly wet weather and very little sun at all. I seem to do nothing but dry down wet, muddy dogs!

    I’ve enjoyed reading about the way you celebrate Christmas over there – I especially love the sound of the Christmas Ice Cream Cake – what a great idea!

    Thanks for sharing the great pictures, too, it looks heavenly – at least we can dream!

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    1. Sue Price Post author

      Hi Sue

      Oh rain like that is not pleasant. Where in the UK to do you live?

      The Christmas Ice Cream cake has a real Christmas cake taste and is quite nice.

      Today Australia as a whole was forecast to have one of it’s hottest days ever. That is a concern as we are on bushfire alert. It is unusual for the whole country to be hot at one time.

      The beach is lovely here. Would you believe the current water temperature is 24 degrees!

      Thanks for commenting Sue.

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      1. Sue Neal

        Hi Sue,

        We live in the North West – a beautiful area, just inside North Yorkshire, between the Yorkshire Dales and the Lake District, surrounded by fields and hills – I shouldn’t complain really, but the weather’s just been appalling across the whole country for months and so far we haven’t seen sight of the sun this year!

        We’ve heard about the terrible fires you’ve had – heartbreaking to see the people who’ve lost everything – I hope they don’t affect your area. The weather just seems to be more and more extreme everywhere, doesn’t it, due to global warming – it’s quite alarming really.

        Have a swim in the sea for me – I’d just love that!

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        1. Sue Price Post author

          Hi Sue

          Oh now I want to hear you talk. I am sure you have videos I can check out. I love the norther accent.

          I never go to the north when I was there but will do as I intend to visit again. It will need to be your summer though as I do not like to be cold. Plus then I miss our winter.

          Yes the fires are terrible. They are a long way from me. Australia is such a huge land mass we are about in Greece if they were in the UK. Having said that we are having such a hot dry summer it is always a risk. One of the natural disasters that happen in Australia unfortunately. I agree the weather is so much more extreme everywhere.

          I will have a swim for you Sue 🙂

          Take care

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  5. Radu

    Hello Sue and Happy New Year to you. As you stated in your article, you are right, i’m living in northern hemisphere and i can tell you we had a lot of snow, and cold weather.

    1. Sue Price Post author

      Hi Radu

      Happy New Year to you too. I know I said it in my post but wanted to say it just to you Radu. Where in the northern hemisphere do you live?

      It is funny as it is so hot here right now I cannot imagine snow 🙂

      Thanks for commenting and have a great week.

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  6. Donna Merrill

    Hi Sue,

    Thanks for bringing some warm sunshine my way here in New York. We did have a white Christmas, but not too much snow in our parts. Just enough to cover everything in White. The day after, we had more, but thank goodness it stopped!

    I have moved away from my traditional Christmas because after cooking for so many years, I’ve burned out! Our Christmas dinner was light, like yours.

    Gone are the days that I cook my Italian Christmas Eve dinner of 7 fishes…i.e. 7 different fish dishes, plus antipasto, plus fruit and nuts, with cordials, and then the Italian pastries. By the time we finish that meal, Christmas day rolls around with a 6 course dinner! Bye Bye to my tradition.

    This year, David and I spent it with my daughter in a relaxed atmosphere. We just went with the flow and had a great time.

    Thanks for the photos, I was looking at them and they gave me hope that spring is just round the corner!

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    1. Sue Price Post author

      Hi Donna

      I really have always wanted to have a white Christmas in NY. I think I have seen too many movies in my life and have this very romantic image in my mind. I would probably just be cold and miserable.

      Now I just found out something I did not know about you. I did not know you were Italian!! I love love love Italian food. I have been to Italy a few times but i have Italian friends. When I was married to my first husband we lived in a street where we were the only non-Italians. I was very skinny then so all the Mamas used to send me food they had cooked. LOL

      Your tradition of that much food though is a bit much. I am also with you on being burned out from cooking. I am over it too.

      I think it is so much nicer to have a relaxed Christmas. I remember too many that were not.

      I think you have a bit more winter to go Donna before you get to spring 🙂 – but yes you are heading there. Now didn’t you tell us all you love winter?

      Thanks for your comment. See you on the hangout this week.

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  7. Neamat Tawadrous

    Hi Sue,

    Great to know about other parts of the world! I live in the Northern Hemisphere as well in Toronto, Canada. We didn’t have a white Christmas though but a white New Year Eve. LOL.

    I love Australia. I have been to Sydney, in the summer of 2007, which was winter in Australia and I loved how mild your winters are. I actually took the kids to the beach in the winter to swim and they enjoyed it very much.

    Thanks for bringing those good memories for me. Your post inspired me to think about doing one Christmas in Australia. It’ll be so much fun to do Christmas in Summer.

    Thanks for sharing this post! Very refreshing!!

    Be Blessed,

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    1. Sue Price Post author

      Hi Neamat

      Oh I love meeting people from North America that have been to Australia. Sydney is an awesome city. I lived there for 10 years before moving up to Queensland on the coast.

      I have only been to the west of Canada. I did the train trip from Vancouver and then bused down to Banff and then Calgary. It was September way back in 1995 so it was not too cold at all. Although Calgary was cold for me.

      Wow your kids swam in winter in Sydney. I know it is all relative as your winters are so much colder than ours. Where I live now it is warmer than Sydney so many people walk around with short sleeves all winter.

      I am sure you would enjoy a Christmas in Australia. I want to have white one.

      Thanks for commenting Neamat and so nice to meet someone who has been here.

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  8. Adrienne

    You are right Sue, that is Christmas to you because that’s how you grew up. Our Christmas celebrations are different because of how we grew up.

    I bet where you live is beautiful. I’d love to live close to the water, just not where all the hurricanes come in.

    I appreciate you sharing with us what you eat and how you guys celebrate. That was very interesting. Now do tell me this. You do have air conditioning right! So it’s not like you’re over a hot stove and burning up because you have no air. Heck, I just crank it down and cook so I would still prefer more cooked meals myself. Just curious.

    Thanks for sharing Sue and Happy New Year.

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    1. Sue Price Post author

      Hi Adrienne

      I was prompted to write this as I know our Christmas is so different from most of the world.

      Where I live is lovely. We are below where the hurricanes come in they are further north. We sometimes get effected but nothing too harsh. Our ocean where I am is still pretty rough from the cyclone that hit Fiji recently.

      Yes we do have air conditioning but not everyone does. We only use ours when it is really hot as I hate being in it. We have ceiling fans which is a very common thing in Queensland. But most of us also like to eat outside. I did not say in the post but we have a deck that goes out to the pool. That is where we ate. At my brothers house in +100 heat we are inside with the aircon on.

      Normal meals in summer (meaning not Christmas day) we barbeque a lot and have salads with it.

      Thanks for commenting Adrienne.

      See you tomorrow.

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  9. Raena Lynn

    Hi Sue,

    Thanks for sharing the traditions of your Australian Christmas! I’m in Idaho and it started snowing one week before Christmas and now it is January 8th and it’s still snowing. I think the snow can be very scenic and beautiful, but just like everything else, it’s much better in moderation. I love your beach picture…looks so nice.

    I have so many friends from Australia and it took me awhile to understand all the opposites, but I’m used to it now. I think it would be great to visit Australia. I never had an interest until I connected with so many wonderful Aussies!

    The cold plate looks yummy!

    Raena Lynn
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    1. Sue Price Post author

      Hi Raena

      I am sure if I was living in the snow I would think differently than when I have been for the occasional ski holiday. I love looking at it as I have had so little experience with it.

      Our beach is gorgeous. That photo does not do it justice. My Facebook page has a good shot as my header.

      Raena I am sure you would love Australia. I have never met an American that did not love it. People like Robert Kiyosaki toured here half for the love the people and country I am sure.

      I always think it is funny when we are on a hangout and you guys are rugged up and I am summer and same the other way in your summer.

      See you tomorrow and thanks for the comment.

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  10. Barbara Charles

    Hi Sue. I absolutely loved learning about Christmas in Australia. I wouldn’t mind a hot Christmas, but I know it would be very different for me. I can’t imagine it without it being cold or having a light snow! So pretty and beautiful. Anyway, its amazing even to know that dinner or lunch is different where we eat hearty, hot meals you go for the lighter, cool meals. How interesting and would never think that such a thing exists. Shows how limited my world is. 🙂 Anyway, thank you for sharing. I love learning new things. Now you have to share one of your holiday or Australian dishes! Would love to know about that too!
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    1. Sue Price Post author

      Hi Sue

      I know most Americans have not much knowledge about Australia unless they have been here. It is interesting how different our Christmas is here. It has become more and more relaxed over the years.

      It is so funny as it is to some degree what we grow up with. When I was living in London and had my only cold Christmas I wanted to be home. Although that was more about family I think.

      Okay I will share a holiday dish. Thanks for the idea. We have Australia Day coming up on the 26th of this month. That is a bit like your Independence Day. I shared what it meant last year but I will do more on the food this time. Oh and I got married on Independence Day. We were getting married in July so I thought giving up my independence to some degree 4th was a good day to do it. 🙂

      Thanks for your comment Barbara and see you tomorrow.

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  11. Sylviane Nuccio

    Hi Sue,

    I think I had missed this post.

    I have sometimes wonder how strange it would be to have a summer Christmas. That would be a first for me for sure.

    How funny on Christmas Eve I also had smoked salmon and shrimps. I was a bit disappointed by the smoke salmon because it so much better in France.

    In France we also have ice cream cake as a choice of Christmas cake.

    Thank you for sharing this Australian Christmas with us.
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    1. Sue Price Post author

      Hi Sylviane

      A hot Christmas is different but my observation of the Europeans having vacation here at Christmas was they were loving it.

      I have had smoked salmon in the US and it is different from here too. Maybe it is different everywhere. I love it.

      Wow you have Ice Cream cake in France when Christmas is so cold. Do you have a version of cake like the Italians with their Panettone?
      It surprised me when I read how that is now our cake of choice.

      I don’t think you missed the post Sylviane I was late doing it 🙂

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    1. Sue Price Post author

      Hi Hale

      I have not been to Florida yet. So far I have only made it to the West Coast and as far east at Texas. I am told that the climate where I live is very similar to Florida. I grew up on the west coast in a city with a climate much like LA.

      Yes cultural differences are amazing. I love learning about different traditions. OF course there are many people in Australia just like in the USA who are from different faiths and do not celebrate Christmas.

      Thanks for your comment Hale.

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  12. Carol Lynn

    It’s funny to think of Christmas as hot, coming from someplace where I hate to go out and do any shopping because it’s so cold! I always thought one day I would like to travel over the holidays and go someplace nice and warm. I would be very happy to eat cold salmon on a warm beach! I enjoyed hearing about your holidays and the things you do and eat. It’s fun to get a different perspective, since all I really think of at Christmas is snow. Thanks for sharing!
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    1. Sue Price Post author

      Hi Carol

      It is very different for people in the northern hemisphere to comprehend a hot Christmas. You know most people in the USA do not know we have opposite seasons. Never had any reason to think about it I guess.

      I just checked on on FB where you live and I see you are in the cold zone 🙂 I really do want to have a white Christmas in the not too distant future.

      I am complaining about the heat today. It is really hot right now.

      Stay warm and thanks for your comment.

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  13. Barbara Ali

    Great post about what an Australian Christmas is like. 🙂 I’ve never been to Australia before but visiting in a nice place like yours is on my wishlist. Hopefully I can make it this year. I love travelling and I enjoy learning different traditions and cultures. I also love dealing people from different countries. 🙂

    1. Sue Price Post author

      Hi Barbara

      Where do you live? I see your website is Australia. It is a nice country and most people who visit it like it.

      I am like you I love traveling and love learning about other cultures and people.

      Thanks for your comment and for finding my blog.

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