Christmas on the Beach: No Snow for New Zealand
Happy Holidays on the Other Side of the World
Sweltering hot in Santa hats
Christmas in New Zealand is just about reaching sweltering temperatures in the middle of summer. Which means - you guessed it - no snow! Tourists visiting in December often remark at how the summer season denies any notion of Christmas spirit, but here in New Zealand we proudly pack up our picnic hampers for a fantastic celebration of Christmas on the beach.
The beaches are, clearly, packed, although there are some other traditions we have other then slapping on togs (a swimsuit) and sunblock. It's not uncommon to host big family brunches or lunches. The traditional kiwi (New Zealand) barbecue of steak and sausages during the summer is a popular food choice, with anything from ice cream and strawberries to pavlova for dessert.
A bawdy uncle with a beer in hand will take on the Santa role in a huge, boiling suit no doubt designed for antipodal weather conditions.
So, yes, we celebrate Christmas, not with snow, but with a burning sun and hours of daylight. It's no myth!
Yes, we still sing carols about White Christmases.
So what if New Zealand celebrates Christmas in the middle of summer - Christmas "cheer" is no less powerful in this relatively small country of 4 million people.
We follow mostly the same traditions as other Western countries. No, we don't often put our Christmas decorations up as early as August or September as apparently some countries do, but we still make the effort, all the same. Perhaps the Christmas decorating game isn't as competitive or advanced, either, but we're content with shiny gold tinsel and plastic baubles from the local department store, The Warehouse.
We do, however, have some of our own unique songs to add to the Christmas carols collection, such as the "Christmas on the Beach" song . It's bold, it's daring! Well, no, not really. It's a pretty simple melody - much like "Jingle Bells" .
On the whole, spirits are as high as ever, and Christmas is just as traditional a season as it is in the snowy places this time of year.