Only in Australia: Christmas in Summer!

Christmas in the middle of summer? Welcome to Australia!

Christmas in the country is summery hot, a total opposite to how many see the holiday --- snow, the cold, the traditional roast dinner, capping Christmas eve with a hot chocolate drink, and snuggling together.

But all the same, we love to celebrate this season. Some would say Australians relish celebrating the Christmas season more than the Americans. And while we do observe customs commonly observed during the season, we have ones that we can say are uniquely Australian, customs that developed from having to celebrate the holiday during one of the hottest months in the country.

Like many others who observe the holiday around the world, Australians love putting up Christmas trees bedecked with ornaments and lights at home. Nativity plays and Christmas music also mark the start of the season in the country. 

But while most people up north celebrate Christmas indoors, Australian families observe their season's traditions - feast and togetherness on Christmas day - outdoors. Equally popular to the Christmas dinner is the Christmas lunch which we often do al fresco. In place of hot roast are cold turkey or ham glazed with pineapple juice, maple, honey or apricot. Barbecues - which we fondly refer to as "barbie" - are a usual occurrence. There's also an abundance of seafood, particularly prawns, in many holiday gatherings. In fact, the crustaceans have been dubbed as the "Kings of Christmas" as Australians consume about 45,000 tons of prawns throughout the season.

Families flock the beach, frolic in the waters, and enjoy picnics of cold ham or turkey and salads on Christmas day, our way of beating off the heat wave.  Our traditions might be different from the usual but just like everyone else, Christmas for us is family togetherness and of being and spending quality time with loved ones.