I understand that in an American context, I might sound completely idiotic and I’ll accept that.
The thing that people internationally need to know about Australia is…
..well, we sort of suck at general holidays.
We are sort of losers when it comes to having holiday cheer, we have way less decor than everyone else and we lack a bit of spirit. Where I was born, Christmas and holidays were a much bigger event, everyone went crazy with cheer and there were so much lights and decor it got you on a natural high.
This is definitely something I did miss when I came to Australia as a child and now I try to have more Christmas cheer during the holidays, especially within my home. So while to the rest of the world and even in America the holiday season had begun long ago and they are more than prepared, here in Australia people are just getting to their feet at the beginning of December to start making their preparations, such as gifts and decor and many other things.
While as the homemaker of my household, my father has imposed a no-decor-before-December rule (because he doesn’t like fun…just kidding!), I get all my preparations done before December and the final touch is actually the 1st of December, which is when I excitedly put up all our Christmas decor- which means as I type this I had just finished doing so! The house looks lovely and colourful.
So for the Australians who are just about to get their holiday cheer on or for international ladies who were a bit busy (or lazy), here are some tips for getting ready for the Christmas season early, even if you are starting just now.
- Finish your Christmas shopping by the first week of December.
This is a no-brainer for most however you really aren’t going to get better deals closer to Christmas time. You are more likely to get the same deals on normal sales and even Black Friday than closer to Christmas.
- Have different areas of Christmas planned out, not just one.
I personally have Gifts, Christmas Food, Cards, Christmas Activities and Decor. Here I plan what I need to get in advance, who gifts will be given to and what will be happening on Christmas Day to keep the family occupied. I have these all separated into pages in a small notebook that is my Christmas Planner.
- Plan Christmas activities for the whole family in case there are awkward moments between meals and gifts.
In my family, we celebrate both Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. We wait until midnight to countdown until Christmas and while there’s usually some merriment and music around, the wait can get a little restless. I have some Christmas crafts and games ready (you want modern games? Try Jackbox, where you can play on a screen with just phones, like a game show!).
- Establish a Christmas tradition for your family and your SO.
It may seem like a silly habit or quirk however if you establish a tradition early and stay consistent with it, it could be very well something that will be iconic for your family and future family for years and decades to come. My tradition is to listen to the whole Bing Crosby Christmas album and watch White Christmas every year.
- Start a Christmas appreciation jar to bring the family close together emotionally these holidays.
Every year, before opening the present, everyone in the family can write on a small piece of paper what they were thankful for and what they appreciate from this year and put it in a sealed jar, to be opened next year. The next year, the jar can be opened and everyone can randomly pick a slip from inside and read the positive message inside out loud.
There you have it! I hope you find these ideas useful and refreshing for Christmas this year, this holiday is not just about a religious story (though I appreciate how interesting it is), it is about relishing the time you are given with your family, to show generosity and kindness to each other and make treasured memories that can last.