Tuesday, December 11, 2012

It's beginning to feel a lot like Christmas...

Got my first Christmas card today: 

When your first Christmas card is from your vet, not your family, you have to wonder where your priorities lay. Also, I think I deserve more than a card since I'm pretty sure I'm putting her kids through private school. But it's a cute card. 

Christmas in the southern hemisphere is weird. It's like we haven't property figured out how to do it for ourselves. There's nothing stranger than being in a shopping centre humming away to Winter Wonderland, then stepping outside into sweltering humidity and a UV index factor so high you should probably be wearing a space suit. 

I mean, we've got a workaround. We figured out a long time ago that a seafood, sunlight, and a day at the beach are a pretty good substitute for snow and fireplaces, but that's still how Christmas is sold. As this: 

Not this: 


And I gotta tell you, the second option looks a lot less hassle-free. Just look at the amount of gear you have to put on to get out into the snow. Whereas you know the guy in the second picture just rolled out of bed. "Pants? Yep. Santa hat? Yep, let's go." 

Okay, that stereotypical Northern Christmas is probably nothing like the real thing anyway, right? So let's do this thing. I'll tell you what makes it feel like Christmas where I am, and you tell me as well. 

1. The smell of mangos in the house. I bought some yesterday off a bloke at the side of the road. When the mango sellers come out, it must be nearly Christmas. 

2. Rain. Warm, monsoonal stuff, that makes everything damp, and the colours on Christmas wrapping paper run. No rain yet this year, but it can't be far away. 

3. Mosquitos. None so far because of the lack of rain. See above. 

4. The scent of frangipani blossoms in the air.  

5. Late summer afternoons when the sun is big and low, just before it disappears below the horizon, and it turns everything gold. 

So, over to you. What makes it feel like Christmas? 


  1. If you put my son through private school, I'll send you a Christmas card too. :)

    I spent Christmas in Mexico one year, and it was odd to wake up and hang out on a beach in the sun for a day. Fun but strange. We hardly ever have snow at home on Christmas, but when we do it's kind of magical. Like the postcard.

    1. Thanks, Luanne!

      I think snow at Christmas would be beautiful! But so, so strange. Mind you. I've only seen snow twice in my life, so there you go!

  2. Usually Thanksgiving is a pretty good clue that Christmas isn't far off, and then it's the Christmas specials and yard decorations and that uneasy feeling that I better get onto my Christmas shopping, which usually lasts right up to the last moment, if not till New Year's.

    And why do I get the feeling that frangipani blossoms were named when some explorer got his knees ripped by a patch of thorns and swore in Australian?

    1. Yes, I will be shopping in January for most of m Christmas presents since the rest of the family headed off to NZ today, or, as my mother keeps calling it to really make me jealous, Middle Earth.

      Frangipani does look like a rude word, doesn't it? But it's pronounced franjapenny, which sounds a little nicer. :)

  3. It feels like Christmas when:

    Not even I can put off decorating.
    It's time to make springerle cookies.
    It's below 40 degrees Fahrenheit.
    I listen to our Christmas CDs.
    It snows.

    I live in the American midwest, and we've had Christmases with sleet, freezing rain, snow, and warm rain -- not all in the same day, of course. But it never FEELS like Christmas unless it's cold and there's been at least a few flakes. :)

    Marian Allen
    Fantasies, mysteries, comedies, recipes

    1. That sounds lovely, Marian! I'm jealous!



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