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Christmas then verses Christmas now – How Christmas in Australia has changed!

Christmas then verses Christmas now – it’s fair to say Christmas in Australia has changed a fair bit over the past 40 years or so year. 

With Christmas quickly approaching we wanted to throwback and indulge in a little bit of fun Christmas nostalgia. We asked our bold seniors how Christmas has changed in the past 50 years. Here are a few gems that they shared with us. 

“The holidays were much simpler and less commercialised in the 50s. Although some things will never change, it’s still about spending time with your family, spreading love and joy, eating way too much and of course, trying to stay cool in the often upwards of 40 degree Australian heat.” Marie, 81 – Gold Coast, QLD 

“Dad would pick out the perfect chook. I’ll spare you the details, but tradition tells that the children would get spooked by headless chickens running around. Mum and grandma would take over from there and pluck, de-gut and prepare the chicken for roasting on Christmas day with potatoes, pumpkin, carrots served alongside boiled peas and brussel sprouts.” George, 72 – Illawarra, NSW 

“Before bed, the children would put out some pudding and milk for Father Christmas and tie their pillowcases to the end of their beds and fall asleep eagerly awaiting his arrival.Come Christmas morning, mass was the first stop, followed by opening your pillowcase full of presents. As the children played, the women would prepare the lunch whilst the men typically played card games.” 
Margret, 78 – West Launceston, TAS


Lunch came with two fun highlights. Who would find the coveted wishbone and get to make a wish and how many threepence or sixpence would be found in each individual plum pudding. 

After all the excitement of Christmas morning, the afternoon and night were reserved for relaxing and playing with new toys. Christmas dinner was –as still today was strictly for leftovers – somethings never change. 

seafood platter
Today Christmas lunch (or feast) is a lot more relaxed and seasonally appropriate. Cold meats such as ham or seafood generally star the menu alongside a selection of salads in efforts to fight the heat. The family Christmas long lunch is now the trend. 

What made the cut 
Pavlova, you just can’t fault it. Although it was a little less common at Christmas time back in the day, it has now become a family favourite on the Chrissy table each year. 


Today we hear many different covers and variations of Christmas songs almost everywhere you go in the lead up to Christmas. But did you know that the 1950s saw the release of some of today’s most popular carols? 
1950 – “Silver Bells”
1950 – “Frosty the Snowman”
1951 – “It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas” 
1952 – “I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus”
1953 – “Santa Baby” 
1954 – “Home for the Holidays” 
1958 – “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree” 
1958 – “Little Drummer Boy”
1958 – “Jingle Bell Rock”

Michael Bublé – Christmas Carols. Listen to 1 hour Michael Bublé – Christmas Carols.You’re welcome 
Mariah Carey – All I Want For Christmas Is You
Celine Dion – So This Is Christmas 
Go Santa, Go – The Wiggles 

What made the cut 
Santa Claus Is Comin’ to Town – Frank Sinatra. Its been remade a hundred times over, but you just can’t go past the Christmas favourite. 


Christmas tree
Decorations were a lot more traditional in opposition to today’s brightly coloured decorations which are of course all themed to sync perfectly with the home décor. The 1950s popularly saw ceramic Christmas tree, flocked Santas and displays of plastic reindeer. The tree was dressed in tinsel and shiny brite baubles for all who don’t remember was an iconic Christmas decoration that shaped the direction of today’s tree ornaments.

Christmas present
Minimalism is in – and to be honest, we’re a little thankful! It’s far too saw that Aussies all around the country a dialling it down a little when it comes to the Christmas decorations. Simple wreaths, natural plain paper with twine for the pressies, and incorporating elements of the outdoors – now, this doesn’t mean turning your living room into a winter forest wonderland. Instead, simply string a few pine-cones across a blank wall to bring a bit of the outdoors inside.

Natural Christmas Tree
What made the cut 
The tree. Christmas trees are still the hero of all Christmas decorations. 

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