zeborah: Map of New Zealand with a zebra salient (Default)
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At least that's what Mum said when we arrived home after attending a midnight carol service.

One of the carols talked about how the shepherds had been asleep in the snow. Which is kind of silly because they'd get hypothermia, and also the current weather in Bethlehem is 17 Celsius, and I don't think we've had that much global warming in 2000 years. (Also Jesus wasn't born in December but that only amplifies my point.)

Occasionally northern hemisphere people ask whether it's strange not having a white Christmas, and... well, no, because I've had not-white Christmases all my life. And so did Jesus, so I feel we're doing pretty well upholding an age-old tradition here.

We have our own traditions too: pohutukawa and Christmas lilies (spelled "lillies" by grocers nationwide); barbecues and swimming at the beach; carols by Shirley Murray and Colin Gibson.

And we have family traditions, like all of us coming to the parents' house to stay the night, and me and Mum going to the midnight service, and all of us opening our stockings in the morning, in which there will always be sellotape and a bag of chocolate money (which we've nicknamed "prostitute money" after Saint Nick) followed eventually by presents under the tree and then sometime in the afternoon Christmas dinner.

White Christmases are kind of a cute novelty - I've had a couple in my years of travels - but Christmas for me is spending the long warm evenings in busy shopping malls, and three days of icing the cake, and getting up early on Christmas morning to jump on my siblings' beds (or have them jump on mine) and then our parents' while we go through a prolonged ritual of (re)opening our stockings. (Being cold would really cramp our style with that one.)

Christmas is what we make happen.

Merry Christmas!

Date: 2009-12-24 12:16 pm (UTC)
ext_12726: Me at the computer (Christmas bauble)
From: [identity profile] heleninwales.livejournal.com
I reckon white Christmases are very overrated. To be honest, we rarely get them and mostly it's a cold, grey, drizzly Christmas, so when we do get snow, we're never as prepared as we would be if we had the type of winters they get in North America.

But I do think that all the travel and family visiting makes much more sense in a southern hemisphere Christmas.

Date: 2009-12-24 12:38 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] pariyal.livejournal.com
Merry Christmas to you, too!

I see it coming that I can't go to church at all this year because of the kind of cough that the word 'paroxysm' was invented for, and that after all that preparation; but I talked to the Reliable Tenor about it and he made me feel better. Thank God for good friends. That doesn't change the fact that I'll miss the singing, though.

Here it's white but after four days of alternate thaw and frost no longer pretty. Nice weather, though, with haze-filtered sunlight.

Date: 2009-12-24 07:20 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] chuk-g.livejournal.com
I live in Canada (home of the North Pole) and we're having a green Christmas this year...nearly shirtsleeve weather today, actually -- definitely above 0 C outside, was at least 6 or 7 this morning.

Date: 2009-12-24 09:21 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] painoarvokas.livejournal.com
Where I live, white Christmas is the norm. We may not get snow until mid-December, but we nearly always do then, at the latest.

When I heard "I'm dreaming of a white Christmas..." as a child (and after having had it translated to me), I didn't understand it. Why dream about a commonplace thing?

When I got older and began understanding such concepts as "country" and "north", I think I started to think that white Christmas is a rare thing, one I am fortunate to experience almost every year.

The truth is probably somewhere in the middle, on this hemisphere.

I think it took me 30 years to realize that the seasons are on the opposite schedule on the other side of the world.

When I recently asked you about NZ attitude to white Christmas, I think I was looking for a similar reaction to what I had as a child to that song. A child's reaction to a meme not appropriate to one's locale.

Enjoy the holy days :)
Edited Date: 2009-12-24 09:22 pm (UTC)

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