Growing up in the Northern Hemisphere, I can relate to the typical Christmas scenes of snowy trees, snowmen and reindeer, and with the dark and cold days that fill the winter months back in my native Scotland, the prospect of an upcoming festive season is all-consuming. This is the 5th time in my life that I have spent the run up to Christmas in the Southern Hemisphere. Here, it is all about summer holidays, barbecues, laying on the beach and soaking up the sunshine. The days are lengthening and the temperature is thinking about rising. It is an antipodean Christmas and every year since moving to New Zealand, I’ve struggled to feel festive. In fact this year particularly, I’ve been totally unorganised and managed to miss the international postage date to send cards and gifts back to my friends and family in the UK. Thank-goodness for online shopping!
On a back road heading out of Christchurch, live a couple who for the past few years have opened up their garden to the public to come and revel in their festive light display. For a charitable donation, each night from the end of November to the end of December, it is possible to join the large crowds of friends and families as they gaze in wonderment at the light and music display. If that can’t get someone in the festive spirit, I don’t know what will.