The Latrobe Valley Christmas is a summer Christmas. We ironically sing, play and listen to songs about the snow glistening and sleigh bells ringing… That doesn’t happen here. The things that tell us Christmas is drawing near is freshly cut grass scenting the air, the native plants, and other fragrant plants blooming and wafting along the warm lazy breeze.
Instead of Sleigh bells the whoop-whoop of local CFA trucks sirens herald the handing out lollies, and bike bells ringing with kids flying past. Laughter and happy voices are heard passing by. The local councils start putting up Christmas Decorations in the main street, while businesses fill their shop windows with Christmas Spirit. Houses start lighting up with Christmas lights.
The hum of lawn mowers is constant during the extend daylight hours. Counting down the days until Father Christmas arrives. Gifts of chocolate are bought at the last-minute or on the cooler days, or we take the esky to do our shop.
In the Latrobe Valley we’ll all celebrate the day differently, some families will head to the beach, eating sliced fruit and cold meats. While others will take to the bush and camp the week starting just before Christmas getting home just after New Years, they’ll eat BBQ, and bask in the serenity near a river and spend the time fishing or Four Wheel Driving or reading – both families will probably play some form of cricket. We have Lake Narracan that is a beautiful spot to camp and enjoy the weather, swimming or boating, or just walking and exploring. There is also Hazelwood Pondage which is warm all year round, in case you get a freak cool Christmas.
There are other families who do the full three course Christmas Dinner that you’d find in European homes. Despite the heat and effort, they’ll do it year after year. Some people will volunteer their time to put on dinners for the less fortunate in our communities, while others will be stuck watching corny Christmas movies alone. A few of our communities put on Christmas Carols, there are tons of markets coming into Christmas, there aren’t as many school Christmas plays anymore.
In 2006, while bush fires threatened Mount Baw Baw, Santa provided relief and sprinkled us with cooler weather and even snow in some places that provided much-needed relief to crews fighting fires who were away from home. The families who enjoy woolen jumper competitions and full roast dinners with Plum Pudding didn’t seem so silly that year as snow did fall.
Asking around what people find tells them Christmas is coming they mostly said advertising and marketing everywhere, but bursting out of their mail boxes. Others said they didn’t look forward to Christmas as Krumpus (is the anti-Santa) shows up every year, they find Krumpus usually disguises himself as a rello of some kind.
Gippsland buzzes as Christmas approaches and the Latrobe Valley is no different. We have so many vibrant communities, with so many things to do.
If you haven’t visited us before at Christmas, visit us. Alternatively, come home for Christmas.
Will you be home for Christmas – the photograph is taken from the end of John St, Yallourn North
The Latrobe Valley has a great many things to offer for those wanting a country Christmas with access to city perks.
Yallourn North Christmas Festival is running from the 1st of December until the 12th of December 2015.
As part of this Haunted Hills Tours is running a Christmas Light and History Tour – on the 10th of December 2015 at 9pm.
Moe has a great shopping district with ample parking, for you to shop, sit in the sun soak up the atmosphere, and cafes to eat anything your heart desires from fish and chips, restaurants, bakeries and more.
We have two major shopping centres in the Latrobe Valley.
You can buy gift cards for Haunted Hills Tours.
Things to do
We’re running many tours over summer, and the Christmas period. We also take group bookings of six or more.
There are lots of houses dressed up for Christmas, the Latrobe Valley Express has an article on how to best photograph them. http://www.latrobevalleyexpress.com.au/story/2755067/how-to-take-the-best-christmas-lights-photos/?cs=24