While we might all spend the festive season a little differently, there are a few hallmarks of an Antipodean Christmas that are widely enjoyed in all corners of the country. Namely, relaxed outdoor gatherings, with a warm climate and stunning natural landscapes leaving us spoilt for choice when it comes to alfresco entertaining. Whether it's lunch on the deck, a picnic in the park or a barbeque in the backyard, most of our holiday activities take place outside.
With family and friends spread far and wide, our summers also typically involve travel, with loved ones loading up their car or suitcase before setting off on planes, trains and automobiles to reach their destination, congregating along the coast, in the city, and everywhere in between. Laidback, sun-drenched catch-ups with loved ones, taking a leisurely nap in the heat of the day, and dining under the stars to a chorus of cicadas are all synonymous with an Australian Christmas.
When it comes to the menu, fresh is best, with thrown-together salads of mango, avocado and prawns offering a vibrant display, while diverse cultural influences see salsas, kebabs and pasta all making an appearance in our festive spread. Simplicity is the name of the game, and an abundance of tasty, seasonal produce means there is little to do but add a few thoughtful accents – a floral garnish, a dash of olive oil or a sprinkle of salt – to elevate each festive dish.
Much like the food, decorations are best when informed by nature, with hues reflecting coastal blues, sandy shores, silvery gums and soft pinks of heady summer blooms. Materials are natural and textural, with rattan and sisal standing up to the elements, while handcrafted table linen and a sprig of foliage in a vase bring a joyful sense of occasion. In the evenings, candlelight and a glass of bubbly add a luxurious touch as the sun goes down.
It is easy to get wrapped up in the busyness of the festive season, however it is these simple pleasures that encourage us to slow down and appreciate the small moments and subtle details that encapsulate everything we love about an Australian Christmas.
A crunchy, fluffy pavlova is synonymous with an Aussie Christmas, and while you can use whatever seasonal fruits you have on hand, we love this version from Gather & Feast, which resembles summer on a plate.
Mega Berry Pavlova from Gather and Feast