One of the things I found most difficult to adjust after arriving in New Zealand is the silly season. I was trying to enjoy summer time, the sun, the lightness of it all, but to no avail. I wanted dark weather, Christmas lights, snow, cold and everything that went with the Christmas spirit I was used to. My colleague from Scotland fully agreed with me: Christmas is much better in the northern hemisphere, we both told one another. 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 when all the Christmas trees had gone.
Over the years, my rigid mental attitude around what constitutes an acceptable Christmas has changed. I slowly 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, since I have arrived, New Zealand has caught up with the excesses of other countries), a lightness that I began to appreciate, of course, provided 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.
Over the next few days, I'll be sharing photos from New Zealand's summer to get you into the Antipodean holiday spirit.