24 December 2012

Christmas in the Southern Hemisphere

We’ve survived the apocalypse, and it’s now Christmas Eve and we're into the last few hours of shopping. We ask ourselves those Christmas questions - have we got presents for everyone?  Do we have enough food to cope with that one day when the shops aren't open? Children, of course, are only concerned with whether the man in red will turn up with a full sleigh and all the reindeer.

Christmas is a great time for traditions. We might forget what we did last week, but we’ll usually be able to remember lots of Christmas days we’ve enjoyed – who was with us and where we were, who set off the big argument by saying something out of place, and the great (and not-so-great!) presents we've given and received.

I’ve spent Christmas in a number of different countries, but until arriving in New Zealand they had all been in the northern hemisphere, and so while some were warmer than others, it was still winter.  Living in the southern hemisphere creates new Christmas traditions.  We’re enjoying summer and have just had the longest day of the year, and although we don’t have the very high temperatures that Australia has, it is certainly warm here, in the mid to high 20s today. 

We have Christmas lights strung all around our deck and on the Christmas tree, but as we have those long summer evenings the lights don’t actually come on until late!  On the other hand we enjoy fresh strawberries and raspberries, and all the other lovely summer fruits for Christmas dessert.

We’ve just returned from a couple of wonderfully peaceful days at a quiet beach an hour or so north of where we live.  There was no mobile phone reception and no internet connectivity. The beach was beautiful and the sea warm, and I read two books in the few days away, so I feel wonderfully refreshed.

Wherever you are, and however you celebrate, I hope you have a wonderful time with family and friends. Happy Christmas.

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