Event report: Christmas in July 2017 (Sydney)

27.07.17 Homepage

´It’s the most wonderful time of the year´– that is, when the German-Australian Chamber of Industry and Commerce invites all of its members and friends to rejoice in a traditional, German-inspired Christmas celebration during the Australian wintertime. As part of its 40th anniversary, the Chamber celebrated ´Christmas in July´ at the Shangri-La Hotel Sydney on Wednesday, 26 July. Guests were welcomed by festively decorated tables, not one, but two Christmas trees and a market on the adjacent plaza. The room itself was decorated with everything that one could possibly ask for to get into the Christmas spirit (even in July) – Christmas crackers, candy canes, piles of snow and illuminated baubles on the tables, all accompanied by some festive tunes.

Kristian Wolf, Executive Director of the Chamber, opened the night by welcoming all guests to this special celebration. He expressed his gratitude for the appearance of some special guests, among them the Consul General, Mr Lothar Freischlader, as well as some of the Chamber´s board members, who were present and also the sponsors of this special evening.

After a German-inspired Christmas entrée and the main course had been served, Kristian Wolf invited the guests to make their way out to the plaza to experience a German Christmas market atmosphere. Guests enjoyed mulled wine and a rich dessert buffet, which included Lebkuchen from Nuremberg, sponsored by Lebkuchen Schmidt and imported by DB Schenker, among other sweet treats. 

With everyone holding a cup of mulled wine in hand, the show act of the night began: All 60 guests were able to witness the preparation and serving of the fire-tongs punch, known as Feuerzangenbowle. With the rum-infused sugar cone slowly melting into the cauldron, the Christmas raffle began. Christmas baubles with the name of each attendee on them were drawn by the representatives of the sponsoring organisations.

Stephanie Eberhard from the German Tourist Office drew the winner of the main prize, a round trip through Germany with hotel stays for two persons in Leipzig, Dresden and Rüdesheim, sponsored by Intercity Hotel Leipzig, Best Western Dresden Hotel Rüdesheimer Schloss and a rail pass that was provided by Rail Europe.

Next up were two prizes that were sponsored by Bosch, a Bosch Blue Drill Kit and a $300 car service voucher. Thomas Raab from Bosch Rexroth drew the winner´s names from the bauble vase. The lucky winners were Gunnar Kaebisch from BDO and Emma Brannigan from Hartmann. Villeroy & Boch kindly sponsored a ´Royal` Dinnerware set and Sandra Florian, representing the sponsor drew the lucky winner Martin Skramstad from Polyglot Group. Gewürzhaus, the spice manufacturer who on top of providing all the ingredients for an authentic mulled wine and fire tongs punch on the night, also sponsored a spice gift set, which was handed to Jan Marsden from Standard Candle HR by Grant Inches, CEO of Gewürzhaus, who had flown in from Melbourne for the event.

Last but not least, the Chamber provided a fire-tongs punch set, including everything that the winner needs to recreate beverage at home and enjoy some German Gemütlichkeit with friends and family. Eva Kosinski from the Chamber drew the winner: Cameron McFarlane from Henning Harders.

After an eventful evening, all guests continued to network and mingle until late, took photos in the Christmas photo booth and scooped up their goodie bags, which contained homemade Christmas cookies, gingerbread from Nuremberg, sponsored by Lebkuchen Schmidt and imported by DB Schenker from Germany and mulled wine spice, again, kindly provided by Gewürzhaus.

Once again, this year the Christmas in July dinner proved to be a success, bringing the atmosphere of a German Christmas to the other side of the world, to Australia. The German-Australian Chamber of Industry and Commerce would like to thank again all sponsors for this special event, without whom it would not have been possible. We are now looking forward to next year´s festivities!

Please find all of the pictures in our Flickr album.