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Why I Love An Australian Christmas

Sarah Bown

Few things are guaranteed in life. Birth. Death. A 47th season of Masterchef. 

But when the calendar flips over to December 1, the Christmas season arrives with its own set of traditions.

I don’t mean appearances by the man in the red suit, carols by candlelight or a honey glazed ham.

Those are the givens. So thirty years ago.

What about the Christmas traditions all Australians partake in that people don’t talk about?

They’re not spoken about in the middle of Hallmark cards or sung about in the lyrics of any song in Michael’s Buble’s Christmas. They’re a calling to all of us to unite under the common umbrella of a True Aussie Christmas.

1. The Great Christmas Work Slump of Every Year Since Ever

In a cruel twist of fate, we’re still required be productive at work in December despite the festive cheer already infiltrating offices by the afternoon of the 2nd. It’s a well-known yet seldom spoken fact the days leading up to Christmas are for doing tasks where you appear busy but actually require little brain capacity.

File a year’s worth of paperwork and run rampant with the label maker.

Clean your desk. Your keyboard. Your phone handset. “Oversubfolder” your email so come 2017 you have an empty inbox but can’t find any of the emails you actually need.

Talk longer to the barista in the morning, become more acquainted with the day’s news online and develop an insatiable appetite for Christmas related memes.

There’s always stories on the economic effects on productivity caused by stressed, tired or sick workers.

I’d like to see a study on the effects of the Christmas worker. The guy who shows up, stares intently at his screen and writes a lot of notes but is really thinking about what to wear to the Christmas party and if his wife will get him one of those new Nintendos.

The Australian Christmas worker: the world’s worst hidden ruse exposed!

2. The Unforeseen Christmas Presents

Your Christmas shopping was done two weeks ago and you feel pretty smug with yourself. You avoided the road rage and the long lines. Go.You.

That is until you’re invited to your Aunty’s Neighbour’s Teacher’s Christmas Eve drinks. And you were told an hour before.

Most will run around at the last minute and produce some form of alcohol (always appreciated) or those bags of disgusting Christmas lollies that remain an insult to Wonka himself (decidedly unappreciated).

But it’s also our national secret that when we’re in a bind we aren’t afraid to highjack the present already reserved for Great Uncle David in name of the greater good. You can get him a replacement mini Scottish shortbread on Boxing Day and he’ll be none the wiser.

The fact you’ve given him said shortbread for the last 11 years and he’s never remembered doesn’t play strategically into your decision at all.

3. The Attack of the Leftovers

Every year in December Australia supermarkets make their fortune from Glad Wrap. Following Christmas brunch/lunch/dinner/elevensies the fridge will be full to the top with a mass of crackling, rustling, unidentifiable vestibules of leftover Christmas deliciousness.

The task is left to the one person with a Masters degree in Tetris who waits the whole year to complete their noble task – getting all of the food in the fridge.

There is a complex system of expert stacking. The meat can’t go on the top of the pavlova to prevent serious squashage. The gravy has to be upright as does the raspberry coulis and the prawn skewers cannot be poking the roast potatoes.

Forget “The Day My Bum Went Psycho”, a poorly organised Christmas fridge leads to “The Day The Turkey Mixed With the Salted Caramel and Mint Sauce and Christmas Was Cancelled”.

I love Christmas in Australia

Sure a white Christmas is traditionally magical but roasted chestnuts are actually really gross and I prefer my holiday with a side of tan, not frostbite.

I love that the work Christmas lunch subliminally means “most of the day off” and fancy Christmas cocktails are champagne with two strawberries.

I love that at least one member of every family is asleep by 3pm on Christmas Day and that you’re still eating unusual combinations of leftovers on New Year’s Eve.

The Northern Hemisphere thinks our summer Christmas is an imposter. Well, they’re stuck with Donald Trump so I ask you, who’s the better off?

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Sarah Bown

Sarah is fresh off the plane to Canberra and quickly realising she’s not in Kansas anymore. She’s a writer and marketing professional by day and spends her free time reading way too much self-help literature followed up by too much Pinot Gris. Sarah spent 2015 working in Mongolia sharing her marketing and communications skills with local organisations. Yes it was her choice, yes they have internet and no it’s not next to Syria. She’s in Canberra to write more, exercise more, meditate more and then proceed to do Option D: none of the above. Sarah shares more newbie tips, general hilarity and plenty of things to read while procrastinating doing actual work at www.facebook.com/signedbysez.

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