Christmas for us in the lovely old land of Oz is a very different beast to what you in the northern half experience because down here, it's Summer.
For a long, LONG time, the old Christmas traditions were stuck too. So we went looking for greenery (although the typical colour of the bush around here by the end of December is brown). We cooked roasts and turkeys and puddings (even though the temperature can be upwards of 30 degrees (that's 86 farenheit for you USians)). I think about my poor mother, trying to put on the traditional Christmas dinner in that heat and think - doesn't say much for how smart Aussies are that we kept that going for so long.
Luckily, in the 80s came more confidence in us as a unique country and with that came the decision that we were OVER sweltering in the kitchen on Christmas Day. If you go into a lot of Australian homes this Christmas, you'll see salads and seafood (in fact, Christmas Eve is the BIGGEST sale day for prawns (shrimp) in the entire year). Desert is more about fruit salad and trifles than hot puddings. If we can, we'll be eating out on the verandah - unless it's either a) raining (which is the forecast for the south-east of Aus for Christmas Day) or b) you have airconditioning.
Christmas afternoon is for a lot of us spent outdoors - playing with presents or, if you're a true Aussie, having the annual family game of backyard cricket.
Cricket is, like baseball, one of those great sports that doesn't require a lot of equipment and can be easily modified to fit any situation. Just a bat, a ball and a bit of space. In backyards, rules would be modified so, for example, any ball hit over the fence meant you were out (because it would be a PAIN to go get it so we want to encourage you not to hit it there). Adults, particularly those who actually played cricket as a sport, were stuck with the 'must catch it one handed to be out' rule, while the young kids could get someone out if they caught it on the first bounce.
So as you in the US and Europe awaken Christmas morning, shivering and wrapped up in your winter woolies, think of us Aussies for whom Christmas is almost over. We're in shorts and tshirts, we're sweaty and tired, we've probably run out of beer (and the shops are closed) and we're finishing off the salads and getting ready to sit in front of the television until we fall asleep.
And here's a link to some Aussie Christmas Carols! http://silver-mg.com/Xmas/Aussie_Christmas.htm
As for a Christmas present for you all - a week ago, I released a brand new gadda story! It's a thank you to everyone who bought, read and loved the Dream of Asarlai trilogy. You can get your copy here: http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/114028
Share with me what you'll be doing Christmas day.