There's nothing like an Australian Christmas. Beaches, barbecues, and gorgeous sunshine equal great festive fun for Australians each and every year. But, like many of us here in this country, we still long for the snowy scenes and wintry wonderlands of Europe and North America. It's difficult not to feel this temptation. Mulled wine on the beach? Christmas pudding with brandy sauce in 30-degree heat? It just doesn't have the right feel to it. So what is the alternative? Of course, the answer is something increasing numbers of Australians are tuning in to: Christmas in July. But how to make your winter Christmas a real cracker? Take a look at our guide to find out more.

Delegate the Party Food

The first ingredient in this wintry mix has got to be party food. Think hearty, warming fare which is packed to the gills with flavour. Consider side dishes - potato gratin, crispy potato skins, pigs in blankets, brussels sprouts, bread sauce, or gravy always goes down a treat. As well as being delicious, these foods have another benefit. A proliferation of side dishes means you spend less time in the kitchen, and more time enjoying the party. The delegation doesn't stop here, either. By designating a few people to bring desserts too, you will provide yourself and your guests with some sumptuous treats, just make sure that a wholesome Christmas pudding is on the list.

Don't Forget the Drinks

Champagne with a fruit twist - such as pomegranate seeds - is always a winner at Christmas time. Of course, classics such as mulled wine should not be missed. Use a high-quality red wine (such as Maestri!), infused with spices and orange rind to get the perfect blend of flavour for you and your guests.

Get the Ambience Right

Fresh, seasonal flowers are great for setting up the perfect atmosphere. Sow a bit of greenery into the mix and you have yourself the ideal festive bouquet. Set up vases around your space to display the flowers, and add chestnuts and cinnamon sticks for an earthy, rustic finish. If you’re lucky enough to have a fireplace, get it cranking and hang the stockings! And don't forget the mistletoe. A romantic Christmas wouldn't be the same without it.