At Christmas time, you're either a 'hot meals' or a 'cold meals' family.

There are two types of families in Australia: the hot Christmas meal family, and the cold Christmas meal family.

Some will choose to battle the existing climate to recreate a traditional turkey’n’trimmings, while others have accepted our antipodean weather and adapted with prawns and Frosty Fruits.

A chilled pav here or a steamed pudding there might seem like an innocent choice when planning the Christmas festivities, but listen up: it says a LOT about who you are.


The Hot Meal Family.

‘Twas the night before Christmas, and all through the house, not a creature was stirring… except for Mum, who is still up preparing the ham with cloves and boutique cumquat jam.

The Hot Meal Family loves Christmas. No, they really love Christmas. From home-made wrapping paper to Carols By Candlelight, this family has the festive season in prep mode from late September.

Christmas Day with the Hot Meal Family begins before dawn. Like clockwork, they leap out of bed in their matching pyjamas and sit around their (real pine) Christmas tree to unwrap their presents. The strains of Michael Bublé’s Christmas carols can be heard through the pre-vacuumed and cleaned house.

“Oh,” says Mum, “how did you KNOW I wanted the Jamie Oliver Christmas Cookbook?”

Dad smiles sweetly. He picked up that little beauty back in February.


Then the cooking begins. While most of the spread has been prepared for days now, there are monumental tasks on the horizon. The turkey. The ham. The chook. The potatoes. The vegetables. The pudding. And, most importantly of all, the gravy.

Smoothing down the creases on the tastefully-decorated table, Mum instructs the kids on which order the cutlery needs to go in. Little on the outside, big on the inside, guys. Pinterest-inspired-origami-Christmas-tree-folded napkins to the right. Lovely.

By the time the guys arrive, the smell of roasting meat is wafting through the chilled house (air con set to 22, no higher). (Post continues after gallery.)


By the time the turkey and plump pink ham land on the table, mouths are watering and David Jones Christmas bon-bons are being cracked open.

For days after December 25, The Hot Meal Family will transform the leftovers into turkey risottos, gourmet toasted ham sandwiches, meat pies, and other Jamie Oliver Christmas Cookbook recipes that most of us cannot be bothered with.

The Hot Meal Family can be bothered, however.

For that's what The Hot Meal Family does best: bother.


The Cold Meal Family.

Christmas day in the household of a Cold Meal Family revolves around eskies.

Esky placement, esky packing skills, ice for the eskies, and the borrowing of eskies from other relatives is a major focus. Why? Because this family is all about keeping cool in the face of yet another searingly hot Christmas Day.

No air con here, fancy pants. The Cold Meal Family is all about the great outdoors, so BYO bottle of mozzie spray.

The Cold Meal Family loves Christmas too, but are a practical bunch. This is the holiday season, after all, so you won't catch them slaving over a hot stove. Actually, cooking is banned altogether from the 15th of December - cold meats and party pies only.


'Tis the season for beers in the pool, hours in front of the cricket, and family lunches wearing your swimsuit and a soggy towel.

Recording a little Christmas ditty for y'all with @benbenabraham in my back yard, coming very soon!!

A photo posted by Missy Higgins (@missyhigginsmusic) on

The big day begins around 10, when Mum and Dad finally begin to feel the effects of the coffee kicking in.


Guests arriving at 1pm, so... plenty of time for a quick swim, right? After an semi-violent game of Marco Polo and breakfast of Coles fruit mince pies, The Cold Meal Family shower, put on their best summer outfits (shoes optional) and begin to cook.

Well, more of an assembling process rather than cooking, per se.

Prawns are peeled and arranged gracefully around a tub of Thousand Island Dressing. Salads are stacked with fresh mango and avocado, whilst the Moreton Bay Bugs are cracked and at the ready.

Finally, the pièce de résistance of The Cold Meal Family's Christmas spread: the pav.

A store-bought pav is lovingly decorated with fresh passionfruit, chopped strawberries, kiwi fruit, banana, and a few dollops of fresh cream. Cover it with glad wrap, back in the fridge.

She's a beauty. Don't touch it. I SAID DON'T TOUCH IT, MATE.

Once the feasting is over, The Cold Meal Family will spending their day fishing around for bottles of rosé and tins of beer in the melting slush of the esky, while the kids will get burnt noses in the pool.

But no one is really that bothered, because it's Christmas. The only thing that bothers the Cold Meal Family at Christmas when you leave the lid of the esky off.

Your turn for the ice run.

Who are you? The Hot Meal or Cold Meal Family?