It is Christmas time and I’m not walking in a winter wonderland, roasting chestnuts by the fire, or building snowmen.
I am, however, wearing jandals, going to the beach, cooking on the Barbie, and enjoying the sunshine. It is now my 3rd Christmas in beautiful New Zealand. The sight of Santa wearing board shorts and going to the beach after Christmas shopping is just the norm to me now.
This year, more than the 2 previous years, I am not thinking that Christmas is a winter holiday only. Rather, embracing summer Christmas and loving that it is a Jars tradition. That makes me happy. When we do live in a place with winter Christmas, I’m sure we’ll embrace those traditions and bring some summer ones along as well.
From my experience I have learned that summer Christmas means spending time with family and enjoying the summer weather-most likely at the beach. There will be meat on the Barbie, pavlova, Christmas puddings, and other New Zealand delicacies. Christmas time coincides with summer vacation and most holiday plans include a trip to the beach. I'll miss the simplicity, warmth, and family feel to Christmas here in New Zealand!
Something I have come to really appreciate about a Kiwi Christmas is that there is very little commercialization of the holiday. There is no Christmas candy in the store, only very large department stores put decorations up, and you rarely see a house with Christmas lights up.
At first I was convinced that Kiwis were a bunch of Scrooges who didn’t love Christmas as much as I did. False. Judging by American standards, it is easy to see why I would think that but now I understand how Kiwis think and I get it.
Another interesting thing about Christmas here is that Christmas Eve isn’t a big deal . The big deal is Boxing Day-the day after Christmas. That’s the day you “get rid of all your boxes from Christmas”-really, it’s the biggest shopping day of the year. It’s the closest thing you’ll find to Black Friday outside of the US border.
I feel like I have the best of both hemispheres. I have a more global perspective on Christmas and will share those traditions with future Jars family members for a long time to come!