As a self-proclaimed Grinch, I’m oddly obsessed with Christmas. I love the carols, the decorations, the lights and the atrocious Christmas movies Netflix puts out. While Sydney is rather beautiful around the holiday season, I’ve come to discover that it can be lonely if your family is elsewhere around the country. Maybe you can’t make it home to see your loved ones this Christmas. Or maybe you want to avoid your extended family asking why you’ve given up your future 90K psychologist salary to be a writer (that one’s a real doozy to navigate.) Whatever the reason for staying Sydney side, this is where hosting a pseudo-orphan’s (that being one without family) Christmas can soften your little, lonely coal heart on the holidays. So, here’s a few tips on how to host one.

Gather The Remainder Of Your Nearest And Dearest

In a city as big as Sydney, there’s bound to be a few Christmas orphans floating around who were unable to make it home due to work, flights being too expensive, or the previously mentioned shame inflicted upon them for being in a creative career field. These remaining wanderers will be your new family to celebrate the holidays with. Shoot them a message and try to set the ball rolling on a time and place to get together and have a little Christmas shindig.

Find The Perfect Spot

There are so many places that you’re able to have your orphan’s Christmas in Sydney. If it was my own, I’d probably have a picnic down at the Barangaroo Reserve. Not only will it probably provide a nice breeze as it’s next to the harbour, but there are trees you can sit under as well. It’s also a park you can drink in (I think.) You could venture to the beach and embrace the true Aussie Christmas, if you want to brave the crowds. Or you could simply host it in your house with the air-con on full blast, lest you look like a sunburnt prawn come boxing day.

Embrace Your Quirky Traditions

What would the holidays be without traditions? My mum and I watch all the really horrendous Christmas movies on Netflix, with wine, cups of tea, dorky shirts and Santa hats. You might play backyard cricket, cook a giant pork crackle or get rickedy-wrecked at your uncle’s house while listening to Bon Jovi in a drink-stained shirt (what better way is there to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ than skulling a couple cold frothies in his honour?) Maybe you get pestered about your lack of love life each year, receiving unwanted advice on how to ‘trap his ass’. Whatever traditions you have, each of you can bring your favourite one to the party and have a laugh over how ludicrous a lot of them are.

Don’t Stress About The Cooking Like Your Folks Would

Have you ever seen one of your family members lose the plot because apparently, they ‘have to do all the cooking for Christmas day and if they don’t get the crackle right they’ll be forever shunned by their overachieving cousin’? The beauty of hosting your own orphan Christmas is you all pull your own weight. Because you’re fully functioning adults and none of you want to risk becoming your stubborn mother in the kitchen, flouncing around like a loon. Each of you can bring a dish to the table, whether that be something as extravagant as a glazed ham, or a $9 roast chicken from Coles. This is the opportunity to play to your strengths, and have a nice little selection for your Christmas spread. If your cooking talents, like mine, range from ‘slightly above shit’ to ‘you only grated a little bit of skin into the salad this time, well done’, I have an answer. Buy a ready-made pavlova and stack it with cream and fruit, make it look lush and decadent. Dessert is served and nobody is poisoned.

There Are Never Enough Decorations

Impress your mates (and your family who’ll want a photo) by decking the space out with an obscene amount of Christmas decorations. Have a colour pallet in mind that requires next to no effort but looks opulent, like gold and white. This will also help the room to not look like it threw up on itself with all the conflicting colour schemes. Smack the chosen colours on cushions, napkins, placemats and the like. Add fairy lights into the mix for ambiance and Bob’s your uncle, your very own orphan’s Christmas.

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