“It’s Christmas! It’s Christmas!” That’s me, no matter how old I get. Waking up on Christmas Day eager to give out the presents that have been slowly building up under the tree over the previous weeks, except now I drink a coffee while I open my presents.

    The next couple of hours are for a small breakfast to get the metabolism started for all the food we know we’re going to eat that day while sussing out our pressies. Then it’s time to get ready and make the trip across the tracks for Christmas with my partner’s family at his Nan’s. Food, alcohol and more food.

    We greet everyone with big smiles and hugs and kisses, there’s chatting, laughs and bonbons. Everyone puts their many differences aside to enjoy a happy Christmas day.

    Once we’re full to the brim and have shared some more laughs, my partner and I go for another round of hugs and kisses to say farewell as it’s time for us to go home. We load up the car with Christmas gifts, food and my little dog, then head down the highway.

    When we get to my Mum’s there’s more hugs and kisses, then the excitement kicks in again, for me anyway; more presents to give and more presents to open.

    My Aunty and Uncle, my cousins and their partners start to rock up so the greetings continue. My sister cooks up such a storm there’s no need to cook on Boxing Day. It’s great when my Nan doesn’t have to work.

    We chat and we eat, we joke and we laugh, we share bonbons and wear paper crowns. We love making fun of the lame jokes inside them. Before we know it, the night has come. Time for again for farewells. We reload the car with the gifts we received, and a dog with a belly so full he can’t get in the car on his own.

    By the time we get home, we’re all full and drowsy so we curl up on the couch and watch a Christmas movie.

    Words by Amy Hondow

    I think this year Christmas I have some vague plans of where to go, but I’m pretty sure it’s gonna be an awesome Christmas because I will be spending it with my family and friends.

    We will come together to celebrate it and I may be going out with my friends to a party or maybe to visit my uncle in Perth, where I will have fun with my cousin. I may be going back home to Africa for a holiday to spend my Christmas time there together with my grandmother, uncles, aunts and friends.

    This is gonna be a really great Christmas anyway. I don’t have definite plans, I’m still thinking about it at the moment.

    Words by Betty Gonda

    Christmas Eve we go over and help set everything up in the car port. Hang the lights, tinsel and then the tarp at the end of the car port. The whole car port area is swept, then the pool and spa get a good clean. The esky is full, right to the top and most of all, the food prep is done so it is all ready for Christmas day.

    Christmas Day!

    Midnight – my household is generally awake so we all say our Merry Christmases and eventually head to bed not long after that. When the sun is actually up we tend to wake up, have a coffee and get the showers out of the way and then head over to mums to unwrap our presents. Off to Nans we go. Upon arrival it is the endless amount of ‘hello’ kisses and hugs from every single person.

    We skip breakfast because we know that there is going to be a huge lunch and what is left over is used for dinner to pick at. When it gets dark, that is when the drinking gets to a whole new level and you never know what is going to happen.

    You could be thrown into a pool, you just never know if you’re next. There is a chance to see Nan pole dance after a couple or, the best yet, my mother thinking the wall is going to fall so she tries to hold it up. The shot tray gets passed around every hour, on the hour. There is a game called buffalo which is if you get caught with your drink in your preferred hand and someone says buffalo to you, you have to skull your drink.

    Eventually everyone will head off home and then wait for the New Years drink up, to do it all again.

    Words by Ebony O’Flaherty

    I love Christmas time, seeing lots of flashy decorated houses at night, Santa at the Mall or seeing Christmas trees makes me very happy, but mostly I love Christmas Day.

    On Christmas Day my fiance and I spend it with my family in Ballarat for the morning and lunch. We all open our presents and someone dresses up pretending to be Santa to hand out the presents.

    At lunchtime we have a huge Christmas feast of different meats, vegetables and my favourite – dessert.

    There is usually always turkey meat, sparkling apple/grape juice and fruit punch (which my sister, fiance and I make).  My family always have fun pulling the Christmas bon-bons apart and reading the really terrible jokes that are in them.

    In the afternoon my fiance and I catch a train back to Werribee to spend Christmas tea with her family for another huge feast with lots of meat, vegetables, dessert and generally great family time.

    The plates are always piled up with food but I still always tend to go back for seconds or even thirds of dessert.

    After tea we all sit by the Christmas tree and someone dresses up as Santa to hand out the presents, we open our presents and then I spend the rest of the night relaxing or checking out my presents.

    It is always a very busy day but I love it because it means spending time with close family, eating lots of food and having a great time.

    Words by Lydia Cooper

    Christmas is a wonderful time of the year filled with family, good food and the best part – the gifts.

    Every year at my home, my mother makes a fantastic roast with aromas that fill the house and enough sides to feed the street (with my mother’s favourite Christmas CD as soundtrack).

    My brother and I will set the table and help out where we can in the kitchen. My father and grandad will usually be fixing things up around the house and feeding the cat and fish.

    After everything is in the oven, we all gather around our large tree and wait for our gifts with a cup of coffee in hand.  We only have one Santa hat at my place and whomever is wearing it will ‘play’ Santa. They will search under the tree for 1 gift to give each member of the family and pass the Santa hat to some else.

    We chat and joke as the morning goes on and show each other our gifts. At some point, my mother will then notice the time and check the roast.

    While my grandfather helps in the kitchen to bring all the yummy food out, my brother, father and I will clean up the gift wrapping paper and grab drinks for everyone. Then the feasting begins.

    My mother fills our plates high with meat, potatoes, carrots and pumpkin and always a side of apple sauce.

    After lunch we all pitch in and help clean up dishes and tidy the kitchen. My father and brother normally go for a nap after lunch while my mother and grandad chat and go into the garden.

    I will spend some time on the computer and wait to play some games with my brother.

    Words by Stacey Engelen

    Our content is a labour of love, crafted by dedicated volunteers who are passionate about the west. We encourage submissions from our community, particularly stories about your own experiences, family history, local issues, your suburb, community events, local history, human interest stories, food, the arts, and environmental matters. Below are articles created by community contributors. You can find their names in the bylines.

    Your feedback

    Please enter your comment!
    Please enter your name here



    Latest Articles

    Latest edition

    #98 July 2024

    Recent editions


    Become a supporter

    The Westsider is run on the power of volunteers. Your contribution directly contributes to ensuring we can continue serving and celebrating our community.

    Related articles