While Australian Christmas happens in summer and is not white but sunny, the preparations for this lovely family holiday are very similar to elsewhere in the world. And the fun does not stop there.
There's more fun the day after, with a traditional sailing event, on Boxing Day.
But let's start with the preparations.
Shops are the first to dress up. They put on decorations quite early, in October.
It's the big spending season so it's worth creating the right setting and atmosphere to get those impulse buys.
Huge trees dressed in golden and red glittering ornaments, bows, ribbons and lights spring in various spots.
It is also the season to go to the beach.
Since 2015, interesting twists to Christmas street decor happened with the closure of George Street to traffic in preparation for the construction of the light rail.
A golden tree has popped up right in the middle of the road.
To reduce the inconvenience caused by all the disruptions, several wooden pallets and crates embellish the former bus lane and provide seating for conversation, take away lunch or quick phone calls.
While the street is closed, the traffic lights are still running!
The largest Chrissie tree in Sydney is in Martin Place.
One of the oldest and most elegant shopping places, The Strand Arcade, is flooded with light from its glass ceiling and sparkle from the thousands of ornaments that wrap the balustrades of the upper floors and the decorations in the shop windows.
Queen Victoria Building has an amazing Swarovsky tree decorated with thousands of crystals. It is in the middle of the building and you have to go to the top level to see it in all its splendour. And Santa is there until Christmas Eve, so children can take photos with him.
The David Jones store in Sydney has a beautiful tradition of decorating its windows with lovely or funny characters who move, play and sing. You can see the evergreen Hyde Park reflected in the shop windows in the photo below.
Santa is about everywhere: in shopping centres taking photos with children, on the surf board at the beach, on the harbour,
Christmas in Australia is not only about shops and trees. It is about food and also about dazzling house decorations.
Families compete with each other to embellish their homes. The more lights and trimming the merrier.
It is the silly season where everyone wants to stand out, dress up, put on reindeer horns or sparkling earrings and party.
It is also about the beach, the sun, swimming, surfing and having fun.
An all day free event in Sydney is the Carols in the Domain, with the concert starting after 8 pm. Tens of thousands of people equipped with picnic baskets, rugs or beach chairs head to the Domain, near the Royal Botanic Gardens to spend a day outdoors, see Santa and listen to their favourite stars singing carols in the night.
Australian Christmas Day in Sydney is followed by the yearly yacht race to Hobart. It is one of the top yachting events in the world and one of the most difficult races too. If you have skills - compete. If not then watch. But do it in style - board a tall ship and let the crew navigate the harbour while you have lunch, enjoy your wine and watch others sweat.
Merry Christmas to all!
Like this page?