‘Tis the season to be jolly…’ except it isn’t. At least, not to the born and bred European in me. It’s actually high summer, with temperatures ranging from the mid-20s to the high 30s in Celsius, and that’s a problem. You see, for the first time in many Decembers, I just don’t feel Christmassy.
I kept waiting for the yuletide spirit to creep up on me; to wake up one day craving mulled wine, mince pies and an urgent desire to hear that Mariah Carey song, but I never did.
In consequence, I was late in buying and sending Christmas cards. My Christmas gift shopping has been more last minute than long-planned, and the thought of a big, steaming roast turkey leaves me looking longingly at the fresh salad drawer in the fridge.
I have a dear friend here who made the move down under from the UK more than 15 years ago. She assures me that I will acclimatise to summertime Christmases such that, within a few years, I’ll be wishing for a 40-degree Christmas Day along with every other Aussie.
But, nearly 50 years of conditioning doesn’t wear off in a few weeks so, for now, when I hear people singing ‘It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas…’, I have to stop myself from chiming in with an unwritten harmony of ‘No, it’s not.’
It shouldn’t be too hard to suppress my current Scrooge-ness, though. My friend has invited us to join her and her family for Christmas in Melbourne so they can introduce us to a true Aussie Christmas.
And so, despite the absence of snow, robin redbreasts, chestnuts roasting on an open fire, Frosty the snowman and all that other stuff, we’ll still be enjoying fun, food and laughter with friends. Maybe they’ll even crank up the air-conditioning so we can enjoy a bit of frosty-breathed shivering?
Regardless of the circumstances, it’ll be a big moment for our family – our first Christmas in Australia; the first of many. And that’s worth raising a glass to.
Wherever you are, whatever you are doing this Christmas, thank you for following this blog. I wish you peace and happiness over the Christmas and New Year holiday.