Christmas Culture: A Photographic Essay

* I made this post after Christmas last year, however by the time I put it together the season had passed. I thought I’d keep it for now, especially as the anticipation for the 25th of December grows ever closer*
Christmas time always makes me ponder about the different cultures and meanings that the season holds for different people. As I mentioned in 2010, for some it is the joyful celebration of the birth of the saviour; for others a reason to write to Santa; for some a moment to cherish with family; of late night shopping; stress and last minute Kris Kringles; of sending letters; eating a plenty; holiday rates; Christmas tunes in the elevator… Whatever your festive traditions, I hope you’ve had a wonderful Christmas! (29th December 2011)

Part I: Deck the Halls

The Christmas tree in the Queen Victoria Building, featuring 144,000 Swarovski crystals

Standing out from the crowd: decorated balconies
People line the streets in Marrickville to see houses adorned with lights and decorations
Auntie Ollie’s Christmas accessories
Part II: Christ is born
Getting in costume to recreate the nativity scene
The Three Wise Men as depicted in the Nativity Scene at Shrine of Our Lady of Mercy Church | As depicted in Christmas lights
Midnight Mass at St Michael’s Church
A statue of Mary and the baby Jesus | A sheep in the nativity scene at Penrose Park
Celebrating new life
Part III: The Gift of Giving
Outstretched hands eagerly await gifts from Mrs Clause
Shopping crowds leading up to Christmas at the Queen Victoria Building in Sydney
Gemma opening her present | Gifts waiting to be unwrapped
Present time
Part IV: A Time to Eat
Christmas themed chocolates
Christmas pudding and custard
Cold salads at Christmas lunch in Australia
The most amazing Christmas ham ever – made by Auntie Ollie 
Part V: Santa

Santa makes an appearance on Christmas Eve in Marrickville

Photo taking with Santa at the QVB

Gathering around to talk to Santa
Santa about to give out presents

Even Santa gets caught in traffic 

Part VI: Summer Christmas
My brother’s sock tan
 Ice cream
 By the Pool (Jeff jumping to catch the yellow ball)