One of the things that I had the most difficulty adjusting after arriving in New Zealand is the silly season. I was trying to enjoy summer time, the sun, but there was nothing that would do. I wanted dark weather, lights, snow, cold and everything that went with the Christmas spirit. My colleague from Scotland also fully agreed with me: Christmas is much better in the northern hemisphere. And so I plunged, as soon as I heard a Christmas song in a department store, into a sad nostalgia that could only be shaken off by the disappearance of all the Christmas trees.
Over the years, my rigid mental attitude around what constitutes an acceptable Christmas has changed. I started enjoying the lightness of the New Zealand silly season, the holiday atmosphere, the beach, the sparkling wine in the sun, the less light, less gifts, less food (unfortunately New Zealand seems have caught up with the excesses of other countries since), all this gave a lightness that I began to appreciate, all of this, of course, provided that I didn't see a Christmas tree and didn't hear any festive music, which still causes my immediate departure from wherever it is coming from.
This year, after several years of absence from the New Zealand holiday season, I will experience it again with joy, and for the first time with neighbours, who seem happy to have a Christmas meal with the lost souls of the neighbourhood. I have been asked to bake a Christmas pudding and this will be my first experience of said dessert.
Over the next few days, I'll be sharing photos from New Zealand's summer to get you into the Antipodean holiday spirit.