An Italian-Australian Christmas with our Designer Sarah

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Our around-the-globe festive celebrations continue – but we’re back on home ground for an Italian Christmas in Australia with our designer Sarah.

Christmas is:

Food. Food. Family. Swims. Food. Yep. Food is really front and centre for our celebrations.

While I was born in Australia my parents came from Italy, so we have that blended Australian-Italian-ness that Looking for Alibrandi really pinned down in the 90’s. My father’s family has massive Christmas Eve celebrations with all the aunts, uncles, cousins (and partners – if they’re foolish enough to brave the madness).

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Sarah (far right both photos) getting into the festive spirit.

First up are the waves of antipasti. Then everyone cooks far too much pasta, lasagne, etc etc. Then comes all the wine, and shortly after that you generally find out from a tipsy aunt just how fat/thin you have become.

Presents happen at midnight – now that the cousins are a lot older, we do Secret Santa which is a lot of fun.

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Christmas Day is far more relaxed with my mother’s family. They’re the Sicilian side, so way more seafood. Again, wine makes an appearance.

This side of the family tend to be somewhat more health-conscious so the lasagne and prosciutto is replaced by prawns and oysters.

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Then we usually go for an afternoon swim, depending on who hosts either in the pool or in the ocean.

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Holiday deliciousness including Sarah’s festive meatballs – she refused to give away the family recipe but says that a lot of the ingredients are in the photo, so all the best putting it together. 😉

Do you believe in Santa?

Only when he’s throwing free candy from a fire truck. (Is that just something that happens on the south coast!? It was a pivotal part of my childhood.)

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Fiery Santas and bauble fun.

Favourite festive thing?

That wonderful, indefinable sense of magic you feel when you see the festive lights.

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The lights! And Christmas cousins bonding.

Hot tip for surviving Christmas:

Stretchy pants…

Sarah’s gift picks

To save you from getting something the person hates! Gift vouchers!


Gift vouchers available online at Zanui.

And the Diamond Trinket Box from Areaware – just because.

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Wishing you a Merry Christmas from all the team at Zanui.

Kay is a feature, blog and copywriter. She collects empty jam jars, academic degrees and tawdry dreams in the hopes of turning them into something useful someday. Her work has been published in ACP magazines, ABC fiction, Overland, Brittle Star, Seizure, trade publications and online forums. Her creative writing has won several awards.