Its brutal, and we do it every year.

The Date

Christmas in Australia is traditionally held during the first December heatwave. We mark this occasion by roasting a turkey for approximately two and a half days, until the skin is blackened and the insides shrivelled to the size of a halfpenny, at which point we declared it ‘done.’

The turkey is then set down in the centre of the table, and families will sit and eat cold deli meats and salad until the combined sound of millions of air conditioners cranked up to high begins to bring down large, predatory birds. We then fling chunks of turkey at the birds, in the hopes they will leave us and our pets alone.

Sometimes a jet will fall out of the sky.

The Beach

Every single Australian will visit their nearest beach on Christmas day.

Due to the sheer numbers of people, its never known just how many die from shark attacks, stonefish, cone snails, box jellyfish, blue-ringed octopus, lionfish, stingrays, various sea snakes, toadfish, bluebottles and the multitude of other aquatic psychopaths that want to kill us the moment our fleshy, burnt turkey-flavoured bodies hit the water.

Many have questioned the wisdom of entering the sea at all. But then someone will point out the number of poisonous reptiles, spiders and insects waiting to kill us as soon as we step foot on land.

Still others have suggested getting as far away from both land and sea as possible, and Project Sky Dome was well underway before a cyclone took out most of its structure and hurled the debris across many major cities, killing thousands.

The Singing

Carols are not allowed to be sung until the sun goes down, and then only by candlelight.

This is because during the early days of European settlement scores of carol singers, eager to hang onto the old ways, died by the dozens as they stood on broiling dirt streets in their festive finery, singing songs about sleigh bells and boughs of holly.

Many died of heatstroke, some were hit by dying bats as they fell out of nearby trees, and some were slain by Rhonda Burchmore, a ferocious, immortal being who inhabits our continent. Now daytime carolling is illegal, and every Christmas eve we wait for the Rhonda Burchmore to appear on a public stage and announce that it’s safe to sing, which we do so, badly and off-key, under her tutelage.

The Food

During Christmas day many Australians will jump into a ‘dinghy,’ (a small, ceremonial boat) in order to row to New Zealand and steal a desert known as a Pavlova.

A Pavlova is made from eggs, whipped cream and unicorn giggles.

These Australians will then return home and loudly declare to anyone who is listening in that the Pavlova is now Australian. They will then eat the Pavlova.

This angers many of New Zealand’s gods, most notably Jacinda Ardern. In retaliation, she has become the leader of New Zealand and now taunts our Prime Minister every single day by being much, much better than he is.

This has caused him so much humiliation that he’s taken to disguising himself as he tries to hide from her all-seeing gaze. He’s often spotted wearing a fluorescent safety vest and hard hat, pretending to be a tradesperson, but he’s also known to dress up as an Hawaiian tourist, an army officer and an airline pilot.

In fact Jacinda Ardern’s wrath is so great that many Australians expect to be invaded by New Zealand any day now, and have installed a publicly-funded military presence. His name is Barry, and he is armed with a small trowel.

The Sport.

Almost every person in Australia over the age of five is obligated to play cricket outdoors at some point during Christmas day.

This is a cruel tradition, as many Australians come from convict stock and cannot safely be in full sunlight for longer than six minutes. Because of this you will find many Aussies in their backyard at midnight, furiously hurling cricket balls at each other in the sweltering night air, their near-naked bodies covered in the remnants of Pavlova, their heads adorned with paper hats, their minds addled by beer, heat and the smoke of nearby bushfires.

They are sometimes attacked by large Huntsman spiders and Drop-bears, both of which are nocturnal.

First Nations people have been spared this tradition since a deity named Cathy Freeman stood up in Parliament House and told the Speaker her people would no longer be involved in this ‘Colonial bullshit,’ before punching a man named Tony Abbott in the face. This is known as ‘Freeman’s Law,’ and to this day Aboriginal people will commemorate the date of its inception by punching Tony Abbott in the face if they happen to come across him.

Other Australians also partake in the tradition of punching Tony Abbott in the face, in order to show unity with First Nations people. In fact, it’s believed that when Tony Abbott has been punched in the face enough times, peace will reign throughout our land.

The Santas

Santa is a popular figure in Australian culture, with many appearing in public places.

They are often drunk, swearing loudly and swigging from bottles of Bundaberg rum.

(Bundaberg rum, or Bundy, is the drink of our people, and is so revered that many of our dogs and children are named after it.)

They are usually dressed in boardshorts, flip flops and the traditional red and white hat.

They are known to bite, and though not as poisonous as most of our wildlife, its never advisable to let small children near an Australian Santa.

Many Santas drown at the beach due to inebriation and heat exhaustion. And still others are caught and carefully prepared, their skin sliced into long, even strips, called Shrimp, which are then dried in the sun for several hours before being thrown onto the barbeque.

The Aftermath

On Boxing day, those of us who have survived will ritually pick over any desiccated remains of turkey the eagles have left behind and count our remaining children.

Stings, bites, barbs and rashes caused by deadly sea creatures will be iced. The most effective pain remedy is Bundaberg rum mixed with cola, and in fact many Australians will consume this drink on Boxing day, even if they weren’t stung, barbed or eaten.

Feral Santas can be spotted for up to three days after Christmas, disorientated and bloated. Those who have not succeeded in mating will, unfortunately, die, their bodies washed up onto the shores, their waterlogged hats a sad reminder that nature is awful and should be replaced with something nicer as soon as possible.

For the remaining days of December, Australians will stock up on food, alcohol, ice and flat screen televisions, in preparation for what is to come.

The next two months are spent in deep hibernation.

The heat outside is not survivable, and most of everything is on fire. With our fat stores built up by rich deli meats, Christmas pies and rum, we lapse into a protective stupor, our brains kept alive by binge-watching Game of Thrones as we desperately try to lower our body temperatures with plastic fans from Bunnings.

Its not until March that Australians will begin to rouse, and eventually stumble outside, blinking and lethargic, before slowly beginning the annual migration towards the nearest food source. This is known as ‘The Maccas Run,’ and the migrating herds of Australians are known to be so large and bad-tempered that documentary makers have never been able to capture this event, as the safety-zone is too far away to film. James Cameron is currently attempting to build a dirigible for this very purpose.

During this time many Australians will emigrate, unwilling or unable to survive another celebratory season. And yet, as the year passes and November comes to a close, as the first sacrifices to Rhonda Burchmore are catapulted into the sea, there are still millions of us willing to stand shoulder to shoulder once again, armed with crackers and shark repellent, to face Christmas anew.