My friend, Georgie (editor of The Grace Tales) and I were talking the other day about how there's something really special about an Australian Christmas. Where else in the world does the smell of sunscreen mingle with pine needles? Not many cultures will see you pair prawns with turkey, eat Pavlova for dessert and wear a peasant dress with bare feet to Christmas lunch. We recently got the kids together to decorate Georgie's tree and road test some of Seed's colourful Christmas presents. Below, we outline a few of our decorating tips, and, when we could prise the bongos and books from their grabby fingers, we interviewed our children, Max and Arabella - both 4 - about what Christmas means to them. To see their hilarious responses in full and to Shop The Story go to The Grace Tales.
"It's Lulu's first Christmas...
... so it's a special one for our family. We usually open presents on Christmas Day with Damien's parents then see the rest of our relatives for a big family lunch. This year we're heading to my dad's house for a beautiful seafood lunch.
"Max is nearly five and so excited.
We went to the QVB to see the Swarovski tree and meet Santa - Max was beside himself and now every night he asks me when Santa is coming. I told him that I email Santa every night with a full report on Max's behaviour, so he needs to be good, for goodness sake!"
When I lay the table for Christmas I...
... go for a linen tablecloth, big boughs of holly spray painted with gold spray paint and lots of (unscented) candles. One year I made up little beauty bombonieres of Crabtree & Evelyn hand creams at every place setting.”
When it comes to food, I’m pretty traditional.
Even when it’s hot I love a bit of turkey and ham. When else can you do a full roast dinner with cranberry sauce in the middle of the day and then go for a dip in the ocean to cool down?"
“For Christmas I would like…
... a spiderman that can transform into a Christmas car. With a Joker inside it. And an ant farm. And a rocket that flies up into the air and you step on it.”
"I love Lulu…
... being cute. She's just so cute. She has a chubby face. Look at her!”
"When I decorate for Christmas...
... my starting point is always a beautiful tablecloth. Often I'll go for white linen but lately I've been loving print. My dear friend Georgia Macmillan prints her beautiful watercolour artworks onto linen - I love her tablecloths and they also make great gifts. Next are some fun Christmas crackers. Papier D'Amour has a great selection."
"We tend to eat a lot on Christmas Day!
Kir Royale cocktails, prawns and oysters to start then we have turkey, ham and roast vegetables. Given how hot it usually is, we also have some fresh salads on the table. Dessert is always Christmas pudding and custard. Oh and more chocolate almonds and champagne!"
"I have so many memories of Christmas as a child.
The sound of cicadas in the garden, spending hours splashing around our pool, the beautiful summer light as the sun set, standing on our deck looking at the sky searching for Santa (one time we were convinced we'd seen him). As a child, Christmas is so magical. Your parents are running around doing everything while you just get to be a kid and soak up the magic. Now that our girls are a little older, we're really getting into the spirit of Christmas again."
"My favourite toys are...
... my drums and my baby. My baby cries sometimes and I have to put her on the potty.”
“Max is funny and makes me laugh.
He’s silly and chases me.
Christmas is about...
... Santa making presents for little children everywhere. We went and saw some bears making presents as well.”