If you are part of the Florida-goers North Americans and, based on that, you think you know how Christmas in all hot places is, you are mistaken. With all the heat and beautiful waters these trips do not prepare you for what one finds in the land down under.
Here the customs differ to a point where they alter the celebrations altogether making them unique and unlike anything you’ve seen.
If you happen to be here on a sunny Christmas day, one of those perfect 28 degrees, you are bound to see family crowds slowly going with picnic and all to one of the soft-sanded beaches of South Melbourne from St. Kilda beach to Elwood, to Brighton and beyond.
Miles and miles of beaches sinuously winding along Port Philip Bay along the palm-tree lined drive.
Two storey villas flow along the shore overlooking the bay. Their glass railed terraces are shadowed by wide canopies that cantilever like large tailored sun-hats over cocktail tables and merry cheer.
Fathers with Santa Claus hats and kids with Christmas ears carry food and setup for what looks like a week of feasting.
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Everything from picnic baskets, umbrellas, towels and beach blankets, toys and hats makes its way on slender sanded paths from the road to the beach.
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The water is perfect to cool you off and sunscreen is needed in abundance. Fifteen minutes in the sun here can make your skin red as a prawn.
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Aside from the beach going, the traditional Christmas foods are also unlike any that one may be used to. The main dish here does not rely on well-preserved pork, or turkey or any other bird but grilled prawns. Accompanied sometimes by the Christmas ham, there is nothing more specific than prawns. I’ve learned that they are in season, together with mangos and kiwi. Eating seasonal is extremely important here.
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And the desert to top it all, the Pavlova which soon, after having its name imported, became an Australian tradition. A huge meringue ball covered in whipped cream and decorated with sweet berries of all kinds.
Photo by Anita Austvika on Unsplash
Some things though never change. Laughter, family, kids full of expectations of well-awaited gifts are everywhere.