Celebrating the jolly season with others in Melbourne's federation square has been a welcome reprieve for self-proclaimed Christmas refugee Claudia Kaster.
Ms Kaster was one of hundreds of students, migrants and families that filled the square for the orphan's Christmas picnic, that provided companionship for those on their own on Christmas.
For Ms Kaster who lost her partner two years ago, travelling to sunny Melbourne was a way of escaping the gloom of home alone and enjoy Christmas with friends.
"I have nothing at home...I love to be outside, at home it's not nice," she said.
"It's really great for people to come together for probably they (can't) have a traditional Christmas and now they can meet people from all over the world and the city."
Organiser Joe Norster said the picnic, which sees the square adorned with 250 plastic pines, was about making sure no-one was alone at Christmas.
"(It's about creating) a shared space, a sense of community, those terms can be worn out in seasons like this, (as well as) companionship really especially if someone is alone on Christmas."
The picnic is a free event and features games and entertainment, as well as deck chairs and sun umbrellas for visitors.
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