Christmas in December in the Southern Hemisphere feels wrong in so many ways for an ex-pat used to a cold and snowy holiday. The weather inches towards hotter and higher temperatures, there is sunshine every day, and the kids finish up their school year for the summer. We’ve been in Australia for going on 4 years now and it still feels odd. Of course, we continue to celebrate on the 25th of December but the festive feeling is somewhat vacuous.
When we first moved to Sydney and I heard the phrase Christmas in July, I assumed it was being suggested (cheekily) that I create a new holiday in our winter. It seemed like some sort of joke, not authentic. It turns out, it’s a real thing and a tradition we have adopted in our household. Every July we put up our Christmas tree, we choose a name from our “Secret Santa” name draw, we make a traditional meal, we listen to xmas carols and watch xmas movies.
The dinner is something we look forward to as it’s much too hot to bake in the summer here. We keep it simple though as it is not the big day for real. A nice meal, the ambience of a tree and music and one gift per person.
During the covid lockdown here in Melbourne, we definintely needed a pick me up. We purchased a new artificial tree and decorated it with joy. It was a very welcome distraction to life in 2020. This year felt unique as we are more closely connected as a family unit – literally. I love that we have this new tradition in our home thanks to our life abroad. The rewards for living a life on the path less travelled are great.