Posted by Donkey on behalf of Amy [@cat_knits]
“It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas…”
Er no. It’s really not.
“In the bleak mid-winter…”
Again no. It’s sunny. I’m wearing flip flops (or jandals) and high factor sunscreen.
“Snow is falling, all around us…”
Right. It’s perfectly clear that my traditional enjoyment of Christmas through the medium of song isn’t going to be quite as effective here. As previously discussed by @pixeldiva I’ve been hearing the Salvation Army Brass band on a morning and it’s just weird. This morning they were actually playing In the Bleak Mid-Winter, with very wry smiles behind those music stands.
@CatKnits and Co moved to NZ earlier this year and slipped into life without a care in the world (mostly). I did not stop to think for a second how FUNDAMENTALLY ODD Christmas in the summer would be. I coped with July and August being cold. I coped with my October birthday being positively pleasant weather-wise. However, as November wore on I began to get a bit uncomfortable and then as December dawned I might as well have come out in hives. The weather is fricking glorious and the schools have broken up for their long holiday. Brain melty…
*All* my Christmas traditions are apparently based around being cold, dark and miserable weather, fairy lights and warmed alcoholic beverages. The (real) tree was decorated to the sounds of the Muppet Christmas Carol, markets were wandered around with Gluhwein, Christmas cards were written in the warm glow of the tree lights and Christmas candles while wearing cosy hand knit stuff. It’s a time of year I look forward to for doing this stuff, usually with my equally enthused sister in tow. MrCat(doesn’t)Knits is hardcore bah humbug so doesn’t usually play.
None of these things are an option this year for one reason or another (no longer sharing a continent with the sister, not dark till 10, no one knows what Gluhwein is, unless they’ve been to Europe, those hives would be a surety in wool anything) But, ever resourceful in a Pollyanna, nauseating kind of way, I am resolved to enjoy a Christmas Kiwi style, and embrace these new opportunities…
Bring on the pohutukawa trees, with their fabulous crimson flowers (real Christmas red), looking like ridiculous pompoms in the (often really rather alarming) Wellington wind. Christmas cards shall no longer be ‘a thing’ as we’ve received bugger all, it cost a shameful amount to send a pile to the UK and writing them in the sunshine with a wine isn’t that enjoyable. The wine consumption goes much more smoothly without handwriting anything. There may not be Christmas markets of the same pedigree, but there are wonderful meeting opportunities, enjoying company and socialising (i.e. wine) in the sun, or at least outside on a deck behind a windbreak. I can wear wool in July, and fondly remember when it used to be December.
The only sticking point is the tree. I ruddy loved the process of creating a lovely, ‘grown up’ tree, in classic colours after finding the optimum size and shade of green in a warehouse of hundreds. I love the smell and the cats seem to really enjoy drinking all the water out the bottom. A real tree just won’t cut it here; the ones I’ve seen are strange, limp things that look a bit like something from a Tim Burton effort, rejecting baubles and lights as they slide off sadly.
I went wild and bought a wooden tree (yes, yes, all trees are wood), all laser cut and hipster and reusable which I am pretty in love with but the cats won’t even play with it and it’s tough to attach baubles to.
I need better traditions for the decorating and loving of this tree (it cost so much this is mandatory), so that the next time I decorate one in the UK I pine (boom boom, come on, it’s Christmas) for my trendy bauble repellent one…