Guest ReadyPenny

1st Christmas in Oz?

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    Guest ReadyPenny

    Hi All

     

    Just wondered how many of you will be spending your first Christmas in Oz and how you are feeling about this?

     

    I won't be out to Adelaide until around March, but am dreading the thought of Christmas 09, just the 3 of us sat around the table instead of all the usual mayhem that comes with Christmas here!!

     

    Cheers

    Mandy

     

    Ps. Anybody started Christmas shopping yet?

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    Then try and make sure that it's not just the three of you! Last year loads of us met up at Port Noarlunga beach and had a fabulous time! Some people only stayed for a couple of hours, others were there all day. Some even took bbq's with them, it was down to individual choice really. We were a bit unprepared so we only stayed a few hours but the kids had a ball running around the beach with all the other children whilst the grown ups had a little drink and did secret santa. After the beach we went home and ate seafood lasagne and played in the pool for the rest of the day. Just make sure that when you get here you make the effort to meet as many people as you possibly can. People don't come to you, you have to go out and find them. There are plenty of us here now so be sure to let us know when you get here!:)

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    Guest weesp

    Hi yeah it's our 1st Christmas, we arrived here 12th June and to see the Xmas decs in the shops when it's sunny and warm outside is really strange. I must say, I am trying not to think too much about it because otherwise I will get really upset. It won't be the same, we had family round every year and Boxing Day and New Year's was always really busy and brilliant. I miss my family very much, this time of year moreso but I am sure that their Christmas will be very different also, with us not being their.

     

    Lynn

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    I agree with last poster. The thought of just the 3 of us sat in over xmas isnt good. Luckily i have some family here and plan to spend time with them over the hols but will probly spend xmas day with a few friends having a pool party. I want to have a proper xmas dinner, but maybe later in day so it feels like we are having a christmas. Not started shopping yet not had time!!!;)

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    Christmas here is very different to Christmas in the UK, it's not nearly so frenzied or commercial. To the aussies it's simply a couple of days off work, there's nothing special on the tv and you won't hear Cliff Richard on the radio every other song. We were a bit underwhelmed last year, we decided to have a traditional English roast turkey on xmas eve and traditional aussie seafood on xmas day, but this year we'll take it for what it is, time off work to spend with the children and hopefully good friends. Enjoy!:)

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    Guest ReadyPenny

    Me thinks it will be kind of "mad" having a roast turkey dinner in the sweltering heat!!! No chance of rellies visiting on our first Christmas, they will not have enough time to save up for the flights!

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    I've spent 5 Christmasses in Australia and the first one is odd, cos all the decorations look really cheap and tacky in bright sunlight, and there isn't quite the same amount of anticipation or public decorations and lights. However some people put loads of lights up on their houses and get into the festive spirit.

     

    However, I much prefer it, it doesn't go on for weeks and weeks like it does in the UK, and you're not stuck indoors with the kids on Christmas day with a belly full of food and indigestion !! You can go for a swim or a walk down the beach, then carry on partying in the evening.

     

    My Australian in-laws always have a full roast dinner and Christmas pudding and my MIL always burns the brandy sauce!. If the weather is good (and it isn't always) they eat in the garden. Remember they call crackers bonbons for some reason.

     

    It is a quite Americanised though, everything is Santa not Father Christmas. Carols by Candlelight is good to go to.

     

    But forget about Christmas - New Years Eve in hot weather is fantastic !!!

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    Guest donna T

    This is the day I had dreaded last Christmas but it was fantastic.

     

    Kids still rip open their pressies - I had my parents on Skype while they opened them - sort of felt like they were still part of Christmas.

     

    We spent the day at the beach as we were determined that it was going to be so different to England that we couldn't compare them. Wonderfull day - lots of friends, barbie (or peanut butter sarnies in my son's case), swimming, boating and secret santa.

     

    We came back at about 4pm and our neighbours invited us over for tea so we had an Aussie end to the day.

     

    You WiLL miss UK Christmas's, the lights (gets dark too late to make the most of them here), the songs playing in all the shops, the hype, but that is what makes it lovely, more about a family day than a financial nightmare!

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    Guest cbeeb

    how does it not go on for ages, the xmas decorations have been in the shops for weeks!

     

    I agree does not seem as big a deal here,

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    Before we left England my sister invited us for Sunday lunch, we arrived to christmas music, they put up there tree and decorations they had crackers around the table they thought of everything. All my sisters and brothers, cousins ect were there.

    The following week they picked us up from the house to go to the airport and we had to pop in her house for something.

    Then we had New Years eve party all the same stuff, party poppers, fireworks, I have a tear in my eye now lol.

    We arrived the beginning of nov 07.

     

    Everytime i went christmas shopping and someone said to me oh your from England you must miss your family this time of year, I could hardly breathe without a tear falling.

    I bought my first ever immitation christmas tree, instead of cutting it down in the woods, defo not the same smell, feeling, not christmas at all I could have just let it go by like any other day.

    Yes we had crayfish ect, which was nice.

     

    this year im really looking forward to christmas being a day on the beach and just maybe with new friends I have met.

    1 day in the year is not worth the trade off.

    Has anyone been to Lobethal to see the lights. im not saying anything. lol

    Laura xxx

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    Guest cornish Busdriver

    This Christmas im gonna be by myself in Oz as missus and the dogs will still be in Cornwall untill the house sells.

    Christmas does'nt meen anything in my house as she works most christmas days so i bugger off into the garage to work on the bikes of go fishing.

    Just gonna be a bit strange being hot instead of freezing my loblox off.

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    Guest cbeeb

    got first fake xmas tree last year in oz, was a complete let down never hadd one before, on the plus side did not need to hoover the needles up

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    You can buy real christmas trees, you can go out to the christmas tree farm and pick one, they will cut it for you. It's a bit fresher this way. They also sell them at petrol stations. Thing is you can't put it up so early, unless you have aircon and keep the trunk in something moist.

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    But what about the spiders that come with the tree YIKES

     

     

     

     

    You can buy real christmas trees, you can go out to the christmas tree farm and pick one, they will cut it for you. It's a bit fresher this way. They also sell them at petrol stations. Thing is you can't put it up so early, unless you have aircon and keep the trunk in something moist.

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    Christmas is what you make of it wherever you are in the world. Yes you may miss the large family gatherings if that is what you had, but you can also decide which traditions you would like to keep and those that you may wish to jettison. You may also add some new ones like breakfast at the beach or whatever.

     

    Christmas really begins here with the pageant, when Father Christmas comes to town. The pageant is a huge parade of floats, about 70 and roving clowns, dancers etc. It is held in early November in town. The floats all line up on South Tce by Pulteney Grammar and the roads along the route close to traffic by about 7.30. The route goes fromSouth Terrace,up king William St, along Pirie St, through Hindmarsh Square, down Grenfell st to King W st and along North Terrace to David Jones. People get together with friends and go down with blankets and chairs, bagging a spot along the route and have breakfast while they wait. The parade is always led by 4 Police Greys(beautiful horses which the police used to breed especially to stand out in the bush)Everyone watches for a sight of them, cos it means the pageant is underway and the floats are coming. There are brass bands, pipe bands, singers, dancers, musicians inbetween the floats and the clowns. There are two special floats with rocking horses on called Nipper and Nimble, which children can later ride on in the Magic Cave. Father Christmas in his sleigh brings up the rear of the parade and enters David Jones to sit in his Magic Cave.

     

    Father Christmas also resides in most shopping centres and large stores like Myers, but we know the real one is in David Jones. Take your children out of school for a trip to the magic cave, cos it can be busy at other times. I used to take mine on the last late night opening before Christmas. It's free, but you can pay for photos to be taken.

     

    Take a walk around your neighbourhood and look at the lights people have put up on their houses. There's usually one in every area that puts up a really good display.

     

    Take a drive to Lobethal in the hills, where whole streets are lit up with Christmas lights.

     

    Go to the shops closer to Christmas and marvel at all the summer fruit, like cherries, mangoes, plums, peaches, melons that are in season and taste great. stock up on local wines.

     

    Put up your Christmas tree with lights. Post your cards to England early.

     

    People still stock up on Christmassy food likeNuts, Mince Pies, Christmas Pudding, Cakes and Turkey, but they may also wait to see what the weather is like and have seafood or a bbq.

     

    One of the traditions we built up was to go on Christmas eve to the brewery lights at West End. The brewery puts on a display on the riverbank on their side of the brewery. There are a few kiddy rides , lucky dips, doughnuts etc on sale. You walk along the river bank looking at the displays.

     

    In Rundle Mall there are carol singers sometimes.

     

    A new tradition you may like is Carols By Candlelight. The main one is just before Christmas in Elder Park, but lots of councils hold their own smaller ones. Everyone goes down to the park with their blankets, chairs and a picnic. You buy candles ( proceeds to charity) and get the carol sheets.

    There is a stage which has celebs and choirs on, as it gets dark the candles are lit and everyone joins in singing, it's a really pretty sight especially on a balmy night.

     

    Christmas day is often spent visiting friends and family, or it may be your turn as a host. Kids put up stocking or pillowcases, presents are under the tree. Last year we had Christmas lunch on our verandah and then met up with family for informal snacks around their pool. We stayed sitting outside til'10pm. It was not cold.

     

    Boxing day is also spent visiting or having people over to help you eat the leftovers. Then it's back to work until New Years Eve.

     

    A lot of people head down to the beach for NYE. Glenelg puts on a bit of a party with bands etc, it can be a bit full on for young children, but younger families go further along the coast on the grass, if it's hot then people will still be in the sea. Come midnight, kids may run around with sparklers, pull poppers and watch the fireworks that are let off along the coast. Alternatively, more inland councils hold small fireworks displays. Some people just have friends over for a bbq, sitting outside with the champers and then jam the phones trying to send New Year messages on their mobile phones.Remeber once here you will be celebrating 10 hours ahead of the UK.

     

    So yes it will be hard for your first christmases out here, but like the first ones you had away from home, you will begin your own traditions. And you won't have to have all the inlaws around :DAnd you can watch the Queen give her message on ABC.

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    We went to the Lobethal lights one year, the MIL kept saying we must go. Well, somewhere outside Lobethal we joined a barely moving traffic jam of cars, which were driving in slow procession up and down the streets, gazing in wonder at the lights on people's houses :dull:

    Once we were in the jam it seemed we would never get out. Choking on exhaust fumes, we were almost losing the will to live when we spotted the Lobethal pub, did some tricky manouvers to get out of the gridlock, and escaped to a nice cold beer....

     

    It might be better organised now of course but we won't be hurrying to take the kids next time we are in Adelaide at Christmas time. :nah:

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    Guest texas
    Hi All

     

    Just wondered how many of you will be spending your first Christmas in Oz and how you are feeling about this?

     

    I won't be out to Adelaide until around March, but am dreading the thought of Christmas 09, just the 3 of us sat around the table instead of all the usual mayhem that comes with Christmas here!!

     

    Cheers

    Mandy

     

    Ps. Anybody started Christmas shopping yet?

     

     

    Hi Mandy,

     

    We have just arrived Oct - and we are living in glenelg temporarily until we find a place of our own. We were wondering the same thing, there are three of us mum dad and Alfie!! We normally have a big family christmas back home, very traditiona with lots of guests/familyl!! We may try the Aussie christmas, but it is very noisy here by the beach and lots of youngsters getting drunk and shouting out all night!!!! (mainly at weekend) Can't make our minds up whether we will just have to go with the flow and have christmas on the beach with the throngs, or if we have found somewhere, just have a quiet christmas, the three of us, it will be weird, trying not to think about it too much. Good thing is the shops are already getting christmassy stuff in and there is some lovely stuff, decorations and trees, so it won't feel too different there. Just have to turn up the air condioning and put the fire on!! I will let you know how it goes!!!

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    Thanks for a great informative post Rachel, now looking forward to our First Aussie Christmas.

     

    Have you tried keeping a real tree outside in large pot, will it last very long if I water it well or will it die quickly?. We usually have an artificial tree but we drove past the Christmas Tree Farm at Chandlers Hill and they look so nice we thought we would try a real one this year.

     

    Does anyone know much approx a real tree costs for a 5 foot tree?

     

    Thanks

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    probably about $40 for a 5 ft, but that's from a petrol station. Some people have got live trees growing in pots, but they take a long time to get big enuff. Supermarkets also sell them bagged up but you don't know how long they have been cut or whether they have a decent shape.

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    Guest donna T
    Thanks for a great informative post Rachel, now looking forward to our First Aussie Christmas.

     

    Have you tried keeping a real tree outside in large pot, will it last very long if I water it well or will it die quickly?. We usually have an artificial tree but we drove past the Christmas Tree Farm at Chandlers Hill and they look so nice we thought we would try a real one this year.

     

    Does anyone know much approx a real tree costs for a 5 foot tree?

     

    Thanks

     

    we bought one from there last Christmas - from memory they went from $40 - $80 ish. As you go in, there are plenty that have just been cut and they have a peice of coloured tinsel around each one - the colour denotes the price. They sell a little bottle of stuff that you put in the water to stop the roots rotting (although someone said that bleach worked just as well!!) Our tree lasted beautifully through all of December although it started to pong a bit at the end :biglaugh:

     

    Donna x

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    Guest Nick11

    Last year we spent a lovely day on the beach with friends. However I made the mistake of trying to cook a turkey dinner at 6 at night, sand between toes and in the hair! BIG MISTAKE! Didn't enjoy the meal and won't be doing it again!

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    Guest Guzzler&Sas
    Thanks for a great informative post Rachel, now looking forward to our First Aussie Christmas.

     

    Have you tried keeping a real tree outside in large pot, will it last very long if I water it well or will it die quickly?. We usually have an artificial tree but we drove past the Christmas Tree Farm at Chandlers Hill and they look so nice we thought we would try a real one this year.

     

    Does anyone know much approx a real tree costs for a 5 foot tree?

     

    Thanks

     

     

    There's another place(not very big) on Easton Road just off Grants Gully Road not far from the Christmas tree farm and last year they were about half the price of the Christmas tree farm,

     

    Guzzler

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    I LOVE christmas; and this year will be my first in OZ.

     

    Dunno how i will cope, cooking for only 6 of us instead of the usual 18.........but i am gonna give it a darn good go:biglaugh:

     

    If i am sorted, Matt (cornish); you are welcome to join us........i couldn't bear anyone being alone at xmas.......espesh without the wife and muttlets!

    Im sure the staffords would be willing for us not to take up Pauls kind offer:biglaugh:; i can almost see him wiping the sweat off the brow;

     

    TraLaLaLa, tra la,la,lahhhhhhhhhhh

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