Christmas in the Southern hemisphere was both delightful and baffling.
It was sunny. The closest I came to a white Christmas was the white glaze of the sun mid-afternoon on Christmas Day when we were drinking on B’s rooftop. It was also bloody hot. I’ve never worried about getting sunburnt on Christmas Day before.
The weather aside, you wouldn’t have guessed it was Christmas time when you walked around Wellington. Whereas in England there was no way you could mistake the time of year. From a hamlet to a city, you’d find Christmas lights, shops blaring Christmas music as of early November and there was a forest of Christmas trees lining the windows in most streets.
Whereas in Wellington, if I heard a shop playing Christmas music I would be slightly startled and had to actively remind myself that it wasn’t inappropriate for them to be playing it.
This was the only tree / decoration I saw throughout the entire city centre:
I was not overwhelmed. I thought the Christmas decorations in my little home town were better: a bloody massive Christmas tree outside the pub, lights strung between each and every lamp post on the High Street and tacky light up Santas galore.
Don’t get me started on the Santa here.
He was wearing flip flops (or jandals as they’re called in NZ) and swimming trunks. What are you doing Santa? Get off that beach.
However I was guilty of committing a similar crime as come Christmas Day I was wearing sandals and a Santa hat.
I should not be wearing a Santa hat when it’s this warm, but God damn it I feel so jaunty.
I was on my way to B’s flat, each of us bringing an element to be added to our roast dinner. I walked through the centre of town, carrying two trays of honey roasted carrots and parsnips, with a carrier bag of broccoli, peas in the crook of my arm. Plus a bottle of wine. Being British, I feel like I need to point out, again, how warm it was.
It was such a lovely day, filled with drinking and laughter. Everyone had put so much care in to their cooking / baking. I felt a lot of love for the little family I had out here.
I had Skyped my own family that morning and it felt so strange to be away from them and not be taking part in any of our Christmas traditions. Though oddly enough I was more upset in the build up rather than on the day itself.
After dinner and roof top drinks, followed by more wine at B’s, I went to a work friend’s birthday party. The theme was Mexican. I lost my Santa hat by putting it on top of a Sombero. The later part of the evening gets a little hazey.
Boxing Day I woke up surprisingly hungover. It turns out drinking from 2pm until the early hours of the morning makes for quite the headache the next day. I had to go to work and thank the Lord for the life saving bacon sandwich one of the chefs made me.
Christmas Day felt surreal, almost like a pretend Christmas but I completely loved it from start to finish.
I didn’t care that I didn’t have presents to open (apart from one a friend had given me before I left the country) the lack of decoration threw me off in the festive build up but didn’t matter in the end. My favourite part of Christmas has and always will be spending time with loved ones – even though this year that wasn’t my family – I felt so lucky to spend the day with the wonderful people I did.