Friday, December 18, 2015

G’day from Down Under where it’s sunny and hot!

I’ve really been struggling with the warm temperatures here in Melbourne because it simply does not feel like Christmas. How can stores being playing Christmas carols about Rudolph and white Christmases when the country uses kangaroos for Santa’s sleigh and there’s not a snowflake in sight?

It’s strange! You can read more about the differences in my recent guest blog post called
Australia vs. the U.S. Christmas Around the Globe series for a fellow expat blogger in Germany.
Despite the fact that it’s summer in the Southern Hemisphere, the city has excelled at trying to make everything look festive as you’ll see in my photos below. Just imagine walking around in a sundress and flip flops vs. sweaters and winter coat.
Plus, the awful holiday consumerism that takes over the U.S. is very minimal here in Australia. I don’t feel that crazy frenzy to buy, buy, buy; and it’s lovely! I had to explain what Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, is to an Australian friend because it doesn’t exist here and they don’t understand the concept. Trust me, I don’t either.

I swear Aussies are the friendliest bunch you’ll ever meet; and they’re happy to chat when I tell them this is our first warm Christmas. I’ve had several sales clerks tell me that they can’t imagine a white Christmas.
This Christmas tree in Federation Square took more than 1,200 hours to build, is built from 500,000 LEGO blocks and weighs a massive 3.5 tons! This tree is taller than a two-story house and is the largest LEGO Christmas tree in the Southern Hemisphere.
While our families and friends are dealing with winter temperatures and snow in the U.S. and Europe, we’ll be spending the holidays with Aussie friends by the beach. Maybe this will become a new tradition?

Happy Holidays!
Melbourne Town Hall by day.

Bottom two photos: Every night through Christmas, you’ll find colorful, animated illuminations projected onto the exterior of the 148-year-old Melbourne Town Hall. Visit daily from 9-11 p.m.

The Myers department store celebrated the 60th anniversary of its animated Christmas Windows display, similar to the windows at Macy’s and Bloomingdales in NYC. This year’s theme is based on the children’s book, Little Dog and the Christmas Wish, which is set on Christmas Eve in 1956 and includes many of Melbourne’s most iconic sites such as Flinders Street (train) Station, the Block Arcade and the Hopetoun Tea. This is a cute display! 

Do you have a sweet tooth? In Melbourne’s CBD, you’ll find an Aussie Gingerbread Village by Epicure. Entry is a gold coin donation to Make-A-Wish Australia. The village is made from 500 kilograms of gingerbread, 360 kilograms of royal icing, 150 kilograms of marzipan and around 800 miniature Christmas trees. Instead of winter snow scenes, the village features Melbourne icons such as the Luna Park amusement park and beach scenes.
Melbourne's Central Train Station also has a small Christmas illumination.
Interested in Christmas traditions from around the world? Please check out some of the awesome Christmas posts from my expat blogging group:
Christmas Card from Wroclaw, Poland by The Twisted Red Ladybug

Christmas Time in Switzerland by Can’t Google Everything

My Traveling Joys 

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Unknown said...

Amazing pictures. It is weird having a warm Christmas with no snow.
Enjoy your time at the beach.

jaz@octoberfarm said...

don't feel too bad....we might be warmer than you! i haven't baked one single cookie yet and i'm not sure i will. it's doesn't feel the least bit like xmas. my daffodils and hostas are up already.

BacktoBodrum said...

Its pretty warm here too, about 21 C and even in the UK people in the South are Christmas shopping in t-shirts. Have a very happy Christmas.

Anonymous said...

Nice pictures. Boxing day is the closest equivalent to Black Friday that I can think of for non-Americans.

Joy said...

Thanks hon! Hope you enjoyed Hawaii and your Christmas in Texas! Xoxo

Joy said...

@Joyce, I can't believe how warm it's been on the East Coast lately too. Hope you got in the Christmas spirit and had a good time with your family! :)

Joy said...

@Annie, hope you had a wonderful Christmas in Turkey! Even Poland has been quite warm this winter. So strange! ;)

Joy said...

@Rhonda, true, but in NSW, Boxing Day seemed just like another day for bbqs and eating. Not that I'm complaining! Happy holidays! :)

CameronRobertson said...

Well, I think a warm Christmas is a good change isn’t it? I feel as such is because I have a few employees at the storage in Mona Vale who have expressed their gratitude for not having to experience a white Christmas ever again since they moved to Australia. They are just tired of having to stay indoors most of the time just to keep warm where they come from.

Laurie J. Rivenbark said...

I don't know how to say it right, but your trip is nice. Hoping you have more on the Christmas this year

Unknown said...