It’s almost Christmas and whilst I am loving every minute of continuing the folklore of Santa for my children, I also hate the fact that it cannot ever be like my Christmas experience as a child…. that’s my holiday conundrum!
I love Christmas so much, but associate it with cousins, friends, amazing family, Summer, hot weather, pool parties, the end of a school year – and a whole lotta love. I grew up in Australia and for us Southern-hemisphere types it’s a warm-to-hot Christmas every year. We love hanging out with friends at the beach and having lots of BBQs – but no longer for me. I now live in the UK and for the past 13 years my Christmas experience has been very different.
Luckily my children are both British born and know no difference, and I am know that this Northern Christmas does have its appeal. Their experience is one of cold days (although this year has been surprisingly mild so far), dark afternoons and twinkling lights. We also had an early Christmas with their Auntie, Great Auntie and Great Uncle, as we have no other very close family here, and it was a very ‘adult’ day. We were also very lucky to spend a fantastic day with their cousins (3rd cousins that is) last weekend as they are the only other children in the family in the Northern hemisphere, but my dream is for us all to travel DownUnder for a truly Aussie Christmas with their first cousins one year.
My childhood experience also had a British influence (my Gran’s) but was still very Australian. We had a roast lunch no matter how hot it was but always ended up outside riding our new bikes in the sunshine or trying out new toys in the pool. It was all great fun with lots of laughter and tonnes of silliness. I had few first cousins, but we always spent the holidays together – we all used to have a very silly and great time. My mum and dad were (and still are) amazing and used to make our Christmases so special along with my little sister too.
And that’s why I love and hate Christmas. I wish it was like I remember it was – fun, family and frolics… my body clock is still attuned to a calendar and academic year that ends at 31 December, but is it not to be. I now celebrate Christmas in Winter, after only one term of the boys’ school year and it is dark and a little nippy. OK, so cards with Santa in the snow make more sense here and it’s great to see Christmas lights in time for the boys’ bedtime, but I miss my Aussie family and their fun-loving approach to the festive season.
I still think the bear in the John Lewis advert has it right – hibernate until the Spring and everything will look better…