Christmas Traditions – An Aussie Year Sneak Peek (December)

The winner was Julie:

I’ve always made my Grandmother’s delicious mince pies; they melt in your mouth. This year’s will be even more special as she’s just passed away.

This post is part of my 10 Week Christmas Planning Series. Click here to read more posts – Christmas Planning 2013.

An Aussie Year is a gorgeous picture book written by Tania McCartney and illustrated by Tina Snerling. Today they share some of their personal traditions and give us a sneak peek of some of the traditions they share in the book.


An Aussie Year is a snapshot of who we are as a nation, covering our melting-pot culture, lifestyle and traditions. Its pages feature trailing, meandering text, dates and gorgeous illustrations showing our five Aussie children at play, at school, at home, enjoying their homeland––from the tropical north to our rugged west.

Ned, Lily, Zoe, Kirra and Matilda–– are Aussie kids keen to take you on a journey through a year in the life of Australian children, from cultural celebrations to traditions and events, to our everyday way of life.

When I look back at my childhood, there is little steeped in more tradition—and magic—than Christmas. It was truly a time of juvenile abandon … toys, sweets, tinsel, hot days and balmy nights, and of course, that delicious anticipation kids love so much.

Now that I’m a mum, my kids enjoy new family traditions at Christmastime. Mum and dad always have coffee under the tree on Christmas morning, and the kids have hot chocolate (yes, even when it’s a warm morning). A child is nominated to be the ‘elf’ and we sit patiently as each person unwraps their treasure.

Tina Snerling , who illustrated An Aussie Year, also has family traditions. One particular tradition her family always upholds is crab cracking. King crab claws are a favourite, and the family loves to see how many claws they can crack and eat!

In An Aussie Year, Christmas is (of course!) a feature for the month of December, but what other events and traditions do many Aussie kids celebrate in December? Here is a sneak peek:

An Aussie Year

Of course, December heralds those hots days and balmy nights; it’s summer! Aussie families love a little creativity. Some of us have traditional, German-style evergreen Christmas trees, but a lot of us have introduced new traditions, with trees made of small eucalypt trees, driftwood, or even string! If we live near the beach, we might even decorate our tree with shells.

An Aussie Year

We sing Christmas carols at school, and on December 10, we celebrate Human Rights Day—a very important day for people all over the world, not just Australia. On Christmas Eve, some of us open gifts early, but many of us have to wait until Christmas morning. When Santa visits Australia, he goes surfing! Some of us call Santa ‘Father Christmas’.

An Aussie Year
Christmas Day is a time of celebration. We stuff ourselves with Christmas lunch. We might eat turkey, chicken, ham and pudding, or crisp salads and cold platters of seafood. We might even gobble a good souvlaki!

On Boxing Day, we eat all the Christmas Day leftovers. We go swimming in the creek or at the beach. We play cricket on the lawn or we have a snooze in the lazy afternoon sun.

On New Year’s Eve, we wave sparklers in the dark night sky, and hope for a bright and shiny new year.

An Aussie Year

WIN! A copy of An Aussie Year

To celebrate the release of An Aussie Year, you could win your own copy of the book, valued at $19.99! To win all you need to do is:

  • Leave a comment on this post, 25 words or less, stating which December tradition you celebrate with your children and why.
  • The winner will be notified via email. You must have a valid email address to enter. If no response is received with 72 hours, a new winner will be selected.
  • This give away is available to Australian residents only.
  • The give away will close 9pm AEDST Monday 14 Nov 2013.
  • Good luck!

An Aussie Year Virtual Tour Schedule

An Aussie Year Virtual Tour FINAL 540
Join Ned, Zoe, Lily, Kirra and Matilda on this journey around the webosphere, from 21 October to 21 November. There will be reviews, sneak peeks, guest posts and lots of fabulous giveaways including some publishing opps! See the entire tour schedule right here.

Visit the An Aussie Year website  to meet all the characters from the book, see updates and behind-the-scenes work. There’s also some Fun Activities for kids, including gorgeous paper dolls you can print, cut out and make.

An Aussie Year: Twelve Months in the Life of Australian Kids by Tania McCartney and Tina Snerling
(Oct 2013, EK Publishing, $19.99, hard cover, 9781921966248)