Christmas is a special time of year for many people, with your parents, siblings or your own family, but a large number of Australians don't celebrate it.
If you've not got any plans this year, here's some ideas on how to make the most of your day off.
Finding a Chinese restaurant that's open on Christmas doesn't take much work. Click here to search Yelp for options near you that are open. A few phone calls (or, in my case, one) should find you some good options. If you're in a larger city with a large cluster of Chinese restaurants, look in that area as well. Don't forget to make a reservation even if it's just dinner for you or a small party. Popular restaurants sometimes receive so much business on Christmas day that they can't accommodate everyone. Last year, when I visited a restaurant unprepared, they laughed at me and said there was no way I was getting in. When I finally found a place, it took over an hour to get a table. Perhaps you won't run into a problem, but it's always better to be prepared. If Chinese food isn't your thing, Eatability has a list of restaurants that are open today.
For entertainment, movies are the traditional choice. Several come out on Christmas day because theatres attract both people who celebrate the holiday and those that don't. Since you can buy movie tickets online, it's easy to ensure you have a seat in advance. Just hit up your Event Cinemas app or buy directly from your theatre of choice in advance. Because theatres tend to be very busy on Christmas, you'll want to show up earlier than usual — at least 30 minutes — if you don't have the option to select your seat in advance. If you can buy your ticket from a theatre with reserved seats, that's your best bet. Just purchase early or you may not have access to the best ones.
Pretend to Be a Tourist
Tourist attractions tend to stay open on Christmas, especially on the Gold and Sunshine Coasts. Find out what's local to your area — chances are they may have special Christmas hours. Of course, many tourist attractions don't have to remain open for you to enjoy them. If you go check out a monument or historical landmark, they're around on Christmas and cost you nothing.
Visit a Park or Beach
Take advantage of the warm weather and go chill out in a park or go for a swim. The Gold and Sunshine Coast beaches are great.
Get a Room
If you've got some spare cash lying around, get a room at a hotel. Hotels can't exactly close on Christmas and offer plenty of amenities. As always, be sure to call ahead and find out if there are any Christmas day restrictions.
Use Christmas as a Catch-Up Day
Is everyone out of town? Have you been neglecting chores, work, your hobbies, generally hacking your life, or even working on a few DIY projects? While getting things done may not be anyone's first choice on their day off, Christmas or otherwise, you can spend at least part of your day knocking a few things off your to-do list and the rest of the time relaxing. That way you'll get a break and still feel accomplished.
Spend Time with Friends and Family at Home
Just because you don't celebrate Christmas itself doesn't mean you can't spend the day with family and/or friends. Play games, watch a movie, cook together or talk. You don't have to go out to have fun, so don't rule out staying in with people you care about.