[[caption-width-right:350:A typical Australian Christmas.]]

->''"Christmas where the gum trees grow,''\\
''There is no frost and there is no snow,''\\
''Christmas in Australia's hot -''\\
''Cold and frosty's what it's not!''\\
''When the bloom on the Jacaranda tree is here,''\\
''Christmas time is near."''
-->-- ''"Christmas Where the Gum Trees Grow"'', Australian Christmas carol

Christmas in UsefulNotes/{{Australia}} tends to be similar to [[UsefulNotes/AVeryBritishChristmas Christmas in Britain]], with a few necessary changes.

Most notably, it's hot. Very hot. Depending on locale, the temperature ranges from warmish, to sort of hot, to blood-boilingly-tarmac-melting-railroad-warping-surface-of-the-sun hot (and it's also very humid). [[note]]We're not exaggerating about the railway thing. This actually happens.[[/note]] This is because Australia is located in the Southern Hemisphere, where, due to the planet's tilt, the seasons are the opposite to the Northern Hemisphere -- in December, it's summer.

As a result, later Christmas activities can involve going to the beach, assuming a) you live near a beach (which most do, with a generous idea of 'near'), and b) you're south of the Tropic of Capricorn -- most of [[UsefulNotes/AustralianWildlife the more notorious Australian sea life]] are found north of that line, and they are ''not'' a laughing matter. If your family owns a pool, odds are most of Christmas Day will be spent in it, with short breaks for lunch/dinner.

If there's one thing Australians have perfected to a fine art, it's Christmas lights. Spend some time looking around any suburb of any capital city during the Christmas season. Stunning arrays of Christmas lights ''will'' ensue, and every house will at the very least make a halfhearted attempt at joining in (In UsefulNotes/{{Melbourne}}, The Boulevard in Ivanhoe is famous city-wide (at least) for its elaborate Christmas displays). It probably helps that the hotter weather is slightly more conducive to setting the things up to begin with and making touring streets a fairly pleasant prospect; achieving either probably isn't as easy when there's snow everywhere and it's freezing. [[note]]Sadly in many rural areas this is slowly disappearing as electricity bills increase - while many can and still do set up Christmas lights, the time when whole streets would try to outdo each other and Christmas parties would be held on the street for everyone to share has almost completely disappeared.[[/note]]

The weather often results in prolonged Christmas/New Year bushfires, especially down south. Up north it's also the wet season, making the fires less common despite the higher temperatures. There are some exceptions. In 2006, freak weather conditions resulted in up to 30 cm of snow falling in some mountainous areas of Victoria and New South Wales on Christmas Day. In 2011, some parts of Melbourne also witnessed a white Christmas of sorts due to severe hailstorms.

!!!Other key differences that distinguish Australian Christmas:
* The Christmas meal will be either an English dinner with turkey and everything, or an Australian barbecue, with steak and sausages and ice cream. In New South Wales and Queensland, it usually also involves seafood, particularly prawns. [[note]]As has been mentioned elsewhere -- yes, ''prawns'' on the barbie. [[BerserkButton NOT "shrimp".]][[/note]]
* Some Australian Christmas cards depict Santa using waterskis instead of a sleigh. If he does use a sleigh, it may be pulled by kangaroos (Snow White Boomers) instead of reindeer.
** Of course, most of the traditional Christmas imagery still remains, and Aussies will gladly sing carols about snow and give each other cards depicting winter landscapes without a shred of irony; actually, the standard winter imagery is significantly more common, both in the selling of the goods and in actual practice, and Australianisations tend to invoke cases of CulturalCringe.
* "Merry Christmas" or "Happy Christmas" are almost always used, "Happy Holidays" is quite rare.
** You will hear "The Holiday Season" mentioned with frequency, but this refers more to how many people and business close just before Christmas and re-open just after New Years given there a three public holidays (Christmas Day, Boxing Day, New Years Day) is the space of a week.
* The commercial networks don't generally air [[ChristmasEpisode Christmas-themed television episodes]], because it's the summer non-ratings period, meaning that we only get to the Christmas-themed episodes of American sitcoms around May. However, they can and have been made, the season final of ''Series/BlueHeelers'' for example, as well an early ''Series/RoundTheTwist'' episode and a few from ''Series/HomeAndAway'' (which runs all year). Creator/TheABC airs quite a lot of Christmas-themed stuff, including the ''Series/DoctorWho'' Christmas special. Christmas movies also air as ubiquitously as anywhere else.
* The tree is usually a fake one, since pine trees aren't native here and nobody likes having a gum tree in their living room. However, if you grew up near a pine plantation [[note]]pines are commercially grown for wood pulp, and most of the capital cities have dedicated "Christmas tree farms" located nearby[[/note]], then it's more likely that you use a real tree. In some areas ''Casuarina'' trees are used. [[note]]That won't surprise Americans, who call ''Casuarinas'' "Australian pine", but Australians call them "she-oak".[[/note]]
* UsefulNotes/{{Melbourne}} has a couple of its own traditions: the Myer Christmas windows, an elaborate display in the front of department store Myer in Bourke Street, and the Boxing Day Test, a UsefulNotes/{{Cricket}} match that begins on December 26th.
** UsefulNotes/{{Sydney}} has the same, except it's the David Jones window on Elizabeth St, and the Sydney to Hobart yacht race.
*** The David Jones in the Adelaide CBD has the 'Magic Cave' every year
*** Merryweather, a suburb in NSW, used to have 'Graceland', where a large house was turned into a walk-through display every year. It was quite the spectacle until a few years ago, when the owner passed away.
* Some of the state's capital cities have a Christmas pageant, an event that happens a couple of weeks before Christmas and largely consists of a parade with various Christmas/fairytale/pirate/whatever floats trundling down the main street of the CBD that's been closed off for the day.
** The biggest of these is in Adelaide.
* Mangoes are often eaten as a Christmas food, and crates of them are sometimes given as gifts.
** Cherries are also very popular at Christmas. When the first tray of the season is made, it is auctioned off for a large amount of money.
* Creator/{{SBS}} ''will'' play a Creator/HayaoMiyazaki film on Christmas Day at around 8pm.
** Similarly, they always play ''Theatre/DinnerForOne'' on New Years Eve.
*** The Creator/SevenNetwork ''must'' devote half their primetime schedule to ''Series/TheVicarOfDibley'' repeats for a week before Christmas.[[note]]Despite what was mentioned a few points above, these repeats always include at least one ChristmasEpisode, usually aired on Christmas Eve.[[/note]]
*** Creator/NetworkTen on most years will air ''Film/MontyPythonsTheMeaningOfLife'' on Christmas Eve.
* In most of the larger cities, arthouse and repertory cinemas ''will'' screen ''Film/MontyPythonsLifeOfBrian'' on either Christmas Eve or Boxing Day (but never on the day itself).
* Don't forget Carols by Candlelight! One such event is held is almost every city in the lead-up to Christmas, but the original (and the best) is the one held in Melbourne. The Creator/NineNetwork traditionally broadcasts the Melbourne carols, which have been hosted by journalist Ray Martin for nearly twenty years; neighbouring countries including New Zealand also get the broadcast of the Melbourne event for some reason.
** This also has an example of LargeHam. John Foreman (composer, songwriter and also the guy who would set up the live bands for shows like ''Series/DancingWithTheStars'' or AustralianIdol) often conducts the orchestra, but for the Hallelujah chorus, he hands the reins over to someone else. He will then proceed to take the cymbals and does something with them while he's waiting for his big moment at the finale. In the last couple of years, this has included him walking around the entire park, standing up on stage and standing in the pit, all with the hammiest grin on his face. You can tell he has an absolute BLAST wit this song.
** The Melbourne carols are always hosted on the evening of Christmas Eve, and always end with the entire cast singing a medley that begins and ends with "We Wish You a Merry Christmas" as the credits roll.
** Carols by candlelight in the domain is Sevens answer to that show. Famous for having the Wiggles and Delta Goodrem on them.
* It's also a tradition to play UsefulNotes/{{cricket}} when your family is over, usually by using a plastic cricket set or substituting with something like wheelie bins and a bat. Similarly, there's beach cricket, [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin transposing cricket to a beach setting]] with all the fun of trying to run around on deep sand; in which case, a boogie board generally serves as the wickets if none are available.
** There are also all kinds of house rules, such as Tippy Go[[note]]or Tippity, Tip-and-run, Tip-hit, Hit and run, Tipsy, Tipneys, One Tip depending on the state[[/note]] where the batsman has to run when they hit the ball even if they just hit the tip. Common additions include Six and Out, where hard to field areas such as the roof or the water when at the beach are worth 6 runs and an automatic, and Can't get out first ball, for when younger and less coordinated players are in the family. Wiki/TheOtherWiki has a bigger list [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Backyard_cricket here]].
* As was previously mentioned, December 26th, AKA Boxing Day, is the time for sporting events: the Sydney-to-Hobart Yacht Race or the Boxing Day Test Match cricket are the two biggest. This is probably because after the clamour and excitement of Christmas Day, it dawns on everybody that it's still the middle of a really hot summer, so most people just want to sit around watching sport.
** For the same reasons of "we want to sit in an air-conditioned cinema and be entertained", a lot of movies get released on Boxing Day in Australia. They're usually fantasy, science fiction, or in some manner fantastical, although there's usually a comedy in there as well. All three installments of ''Film/TheLordOfTheRings'' and ''Film/TheHobbit'', ''Film/Eragon'', ''WesternAnimation/TheAdventuresOfTintin'', ''WesternAnimation/TheTransformersTheMovie'' and plenty of others came out that day.