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Tidings of Comfort and Joy


Anna Byrne captures Australian life and style in her new column for Buy Aussie Now.

It might only be July, but you could be forgiven for thinking Christmas is on the horizon — given we have endured a year’s worth of highs and lows already. 

After everything the past six months have thrown at us, we could all do with a shot of holiday spirit, and I’m not just talking about a generous pour of (locally distilled) gin. If ever a year was worthy of a second festive season and a decent dose of yuletide cheer, 2020 might just be it. And so, I’m here to make spirits bright and advocate for a fully wrapped Christmas in July this year. 

Sure it’s not a traditional Aussie holiday, but whine all you want about the sudden ubiquity of children on Halloween in Australia, or that Valentine’s Day is a cringy pressure bomb dropped on an otherwise pleasant existence, or that St Patrick’s Day is just an excuse to drink stout. Whinge about every other fake festivity and Hallmark-sponsored holiday you want, but this year, don’t be a scrooge when it comes to Christmas in July. We need this.

Before we get to the presents part, the feelgood and the food, we need to also acknowledge that a Christmas in July also finally allows us Australians to indulge in some yuletide pageantry, because no matter which way you slice the pudding, Australia and Christmas style are at opposite ends of the advent calendar. Sure Australia has barbecue prawns, backyard cricket, eucalyptus wreaths, board shorts and cartoon parodies of Santa’s sleigh being pulled by a convoy of kangaroos, but there’s no denying the northern hemisphere is far more stylish with its mittens, pompom beanies, snow and turkey with all the trimmings.

While Kate Middleton toddles off to Christmas mass in an emerald green, faux fur collared, tartan coat; you are most likely sweating up a storm in your Nanna’s kitchen wearing a paper hat out of a bonbon that inevitably clashes with your outfit.

Best of all, seeing as most of us are staying home more than ever, Christmas in July doesn’t require you to go anywhere, and lends itself perfectly to staying in by the fire (or with the central heating cranked), carving a roast, making some mulled wine, listening to carols and counting your blessings.

Now how could anyone possible disregard a chance to soak in the splendour of Christmas for a day right now?

And why not, rather than writhing in the eternal task of finding each family member the perfect gift like you do for most of December, treat yourself instead?

So go forth and shop guilt free (as every Aussie purchase is a boost to the economy, too) and splash some of that tax return on yourself. It’s been a big year after all, even if it is only July. 

Making Spirits Bright: A Christmas in July, Aussie owned and made, gift-giving guide for yourself.


Anna Byrne grew up in Bendigo in regional Victoria before moving to Melbourne where she enjoyed a decade-long career as a columnist for the Herald Sun, becoming one of Australia’s most recognised lifestyle voices. Renowned for her insightful and humorous musings on the world of fashion and beyond, her take on style is both witty and refreshingly non-elitist. Anna loves musicals, McLaren Vale Chardonnay, the Melbourne footy club and can quote Muriel’s Wedding, verbatim. A passionate campaigner for small business, Anna is excited to join Buy Aussie Now as a freelance contributor. 

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