Christmas markets, gingerbread, presents, mulled wine, winter and snow – these are things we would associate with the perfect European Christmas experience. But wait, we are in Australia. So cold beers, pools and hot weather for Christmas? That sounds wrong which is why we just decided to celebrate Christmas again, this time in winter. The European festive atmosphere rises a lot more when you are snuggled up in a blanket with hot chocolate, compared to lying on the beach. Okay, depending on where you are in Australia, it doesn’t get that cold in July either but it will still be a more ‘wintery’-kind of feeling.
Christmas in July is a common tradition in some countries of the Southern Hemisphere like Australia, New Zealand or South Africa. Midwinter Christmas, as you can also call it, is supposed to bring wintery, Christmassy feelings to July. It is mostly celebrated by people who emigrated from the Northern Hemisphere to have a bit of their home traditions abroad since this holiday is celebrated very differently around the world.
If you walk into the Chamber office nowadays, there is a good chance of stumbling over a present or a red bauble. It might also happen that you hear Eva, our Events Coordinator, recite a festive poem. Especially in the dark corner of our office, meaning the Events and Marketing department that is further away from the windows, the Christmas spirit is spreading quickly. Linda and Marie are nearly constantly wrapping presents, decorating picture frames or preparing a special candy cane treat. The consulting team was a little confused when seeing the Christmassy developments in this part of the office at first sight but as the preparations have been going on for a couple of weeks now, everybody got used to it. It has been more than a month now, since Linda started collecting every empty box she could find to transform them into a nice present pile that is waiting dangerously close behind my desk now, so that I have to move carefully to avoid pushing it over.
Furthermore, there is a huge pile of not-at-all-empty boxes waiting in another part of the office. It was a special delivery all the way from Germany and attendees should really look forward to see what’s inside. Eva however does a good job in keeping them all closed up so far and you don’t want to look at them for too long without getting her protective anger on you.
Christmas in July is not yet a public holiday in Australia, but if you look around the office and the amount of effort we are putting into it, there will probably be one soon.
Written by Elena Bergmann