Shauna Bickley

A Summer Christmas

Posted on Sunday 23rd December 2018 by Shauna Bickley

Yesterday we celebrated the summer solstice and the longest day, apparently 14 hours and 41 minutes of daylight. It took me a long time of living in New Zealand for it to feel ‘normal’ to celebrate Christmas in the middle of summer.

Chair and santa hat

Christmas is a great time for traditions. We often forget exactly what we did last week, but we’ll usually be able to remember plenty of Christmas days we’ve enjoyed – who was with us and where we were, and who set off the big argument by saying something out of place.

Living in the southern hemisphere creates new Christmas traditions. Barbecues and visits to the beach feature high on most plans. We have Christmas lights strung around the deck and in the house, but as we have those long summer evenings the lights don’t actually come on until late. With just a few days to go until Christmas I thought I’d share a few of the things I love about our summer Christmas in New Zealand.

  • Strawberries and raspberries (and other summer fruit, but these are my favourite)
  • Pohutukawa trees in bloom (known as New Zealand’s Christmas tree as the red blossoms appear in December)

Pohutukawa  Pohutukawa blossoms

  • Outdoor gatherings with family and friends
  • Long lingering daylight evenings
  • The luxurious feeling of slow, lazy days because it’s too hot to rush around
  • Wandering around the house, garden and beach barefoot
  • Outdoor films/events
  • Walks on the beach (they’re great all through the year but especially in summer)
  • Driving around with all the car windows open
  • Reading at the beach or park (reading anywhere to be honest!)
  • Smell of freshly cut grass and honeysuckle
  • Easy BBQ and salad meals and not forgetting ice cream!

…and lots more.

01 Rangitoto

Christmas in the Southern Hemisphere takes some getting used after growing up with Northern Hemisphere snowy celebrations. At the moment all the windows and doors are open, and it’s still hot. I feel a little sorry for the shopping mall Santas dressed in their warm red robes while the rest of us are in t-shirts and shorts.

We may have to wait longer in the evenings to enjoy the Christmas lights and many of the words to traditional Christmas songs don’t really make too much sense for Christmas here, but I can handle that as I enjoy summer.

Summer 1

 

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