Dec. 25th, 2009

zeborah: Map of New Zealand with a zebra salient (Default)
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!

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