Christmas in Australia means something a little different from our friends in the Northern Hemisphere. Where the British are wearing warm, wooly jumpers with reindeer motifs splayed across the front, and Americans are jolly, drinking eggnog by the fire, we Australians can be found at Christmas lunch devouring platters of prawns, oysters, and yes, the occasional lobster.
This makes a Yuletide celebration all the more special come July. The temperature drops, the hats and scarves get pulled on and with the addition of the cold, we make the best of it by bringing a little festive cheer to our homes.
Christmas in July is a reason to bring the family and friends together and spend more time with your loved ones, so light some candles and fill your home with the wonderful scent of homemade food!
Our gift to you this Christmas in July is the following inspiration for getting into the spirit:
Come Christmastime, we’re all about fresh seafood, fresh salads, ham and turkey – heavy food is not on the menu. July is our time to embrace warming, filling Christmas dishes which we may not have been able to consume in the summer!
Our idea of the ultimate Christmas meal starts with charcuterie boards filled to the brim with terrines, pates, cured meats, cheese, you name it! Charcuterie looks beautiful presented on wooden platters and is a crowd pleaser. Then comes the main, a feast of roasted meats and seasonal vegetables. Think porchetta served with a side of pumpkin with cinnamon and currants and roast turkey with stuffing and sweet potato puree – these recipes are a sure fire way to impress your friends and family! To end, we love these recipes to finish off a successful evening. Brown sugar and spice meringues, gingerbread pudding with red wine pears and everything smothered in creamy vanilla custard (because what is better than custard!).
Your beautiful food should be presented just so. Make sure to think about servingware. Things like dip bowls and punch bowls are great for entertaining – you’ll use them time and time again, especially with a big family.
The table sets the mood and is one of the key factors in inspiring your guests to embrace the Christmas spirit. But don’t worry, this is the fun part! Rather than recreating your entire Christmas display, keep it simple with Christmas flourishes and speak through colour palettes.
Dress to impress: The table should be dressed and set before guests arrive. Think about tableware and cutlery beforehand, as well as those beautiful little touches for the table. We love flowers on the table, as well as candles to create ambiance. The odd Christmas bauble doesn’t go astray either! Remember though, with Christmas in July, less is more. Make sure you have plenty of room for all of the food!
Pick a theme: Red, green, white, silver, gold, grey, blue… whatever tickles your fancy, pick the colours you’ll be using beforehand and stick to it. A neutral palette creates a tranquil feel, while red and white keeps the feel modern and cheerful.
What we’re loving:
Keeping the kids entertained is also a big factor. Rather than entertaining them with TV or video games, why not try get them involved? Before your party, bake (or buy) some plain biscuits and lay out all of the toppings, sprinkles and all the decorative edible bits and bobs you can think of for a cookie decorating station. Decorating cookies is a fun, albeit messy, way to get the kids to celebrate the holiday season – where there’s mess, there’s fun!
Finally, Christmas is all about good times. The food and the company are integral but so is the atmosphere. Keep things jolly with eggnog or mulled wine/cider, and plan some fun activities for your guests. There’s a lot that can be done with Christmas karaoke, Christmas themed props and a camera!
Merry Christmas (in July) to all, and to all a good night!