16 December 2012

It's Not Beginning To Feel A Lot Like Christmas

I love Christmas season. The minute that turkey is in my belly and I wake up in a food coma the morning after Thanksgiving, I am officially ready for Christmas. From the Christmas music to the houses twinkling with lights each night to the chilly winter days, the month of preparation for Christmas is one of my favorite times of the year. This year though, I just can't seem to get into the Christmas spirit.

It's not that I don't want to get into the spirit of Christmas. It's not even that I'm feeling homesick not being home for the holidays. The problem is Australia is just plain backwards! I'm walking around in shorts and sandals, spending my days off at the pool and enjoying long summer nights, yet somehow it's Christmas season?! I see ads on the televsion for Christmas and I get that frustrated feeling I normally get when people try to put up Christmas decorations in October. But then I have to stop myself and it suddenly hits me that Christmas is a week away. How can it be? Christmas in the summer time? Am I really going to spend Christmas outside in the sun? Is that really in the Christmas spirit? It just doesn't make sense!

Christmas, for me, has always been associated with the winter. Snowflakes and hot apple cider, big wooly Christmas sweaters and furry slippers, sitting by the fire opening presents Christmas morning; now that's a real Christmas! Christmas in a bikini? Not so much.

I grew up with Christmas images of Santa Claus living in the snowy North Pole, everyone wishing for a white Christmas, and the beginning of winter signaling the Christmas season. It was always a sad day when it was time to store the summer clothes away for the winter, but it was also bittersweet because bringing out those winter clothes meant Christmas was coming! Snowballs and snowmen, skiing and sledding, and holidays in the snowy mountains were all part of celebrating the holidays. A vacation at the beach? Now that's not a Christmas activity!

But here I am, living in Australia and about to have the most backwards holiday season I can imagine. There will be no white Christmas for me this year. Maybe I can work on my tan, maybe I'll enjoy a day off from work lying on the beach. Surely not very Christmas-esque, but I'm trying very hard to embrace this backwards Christmas. It will defintely be one for the memories! And on the bright side of it all, at least I won't have to remember to turn off my fireplace so as not to light Santa Claus on fire!

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