We bought our house back in the autumn and its been brilliant. Our street isn't big, we haven't met all the people in it but pretty much most of them :)
When we moved in, half the neighbours in the street either popped over or caught us when we were out the front and introduced themselves and made us welcome. One couple told us a while back that the previous owners of our house (a good 15 years here) had always held a Christmas BBQ for the residents of our street, usually on Christmas Eve and they were not sure if anyone would hold it this year.
Fast forward to now and we decided to not let the street tradition go with the previous house owners and so sent out invites to a BBQ at our house on Christmas Eve. So far a fair few houses have replied and are joining us. A couple are away but we hope to have at least half the residents here, hopefully a couple of houses more. Some are new neighbours who moved in after us and who we still haven't really met but looking forward to seeing them all.
Its been a really positive experience so far and I am really glad I wrote those invites and dropped them round. I handed some over in person, met 2 new neighbours and had some say they thought it was a lovely gesture and said yes there and then that they'd be there.
So yes, Christmas spirit is alive and well and I'm really looking forward to Christmas in our first Aussie home. Its my second Christmas here but last year we were living with family so bit different. This year I've gone to town with the tree, decorations around the house and have lights hanging outside along the house, in the tree and along the veranda Its fab and can't wait to fire up the Weber on Christmas Eve.