Last Christmas, Matt and I put up our tree in Chicago the same week we officially decided to move to New Zealand. We told our families, talked to our bosses and planned a big holiday party with mulled wine and a fire in the fireplace.
When we opened a New Zealand Christmas card from Angela with a beautiful beach scene, we started imagining what it would be like to celebrate Christmas in the middle of the Southern Hemisphere summer. I loved the idea of a fun summer Christmas but wondered if I would be homesick for the sights, sounds and smells that I’ve always associated with the holidays.
Now that we’re here in the Coromandel for the Christmas season, with perfectly sunny days and really late sunsets, it seems like the most natural thing in the world. Our little town is buzzing with holidaymakers on their way to campgrounds and vacation cottages. We went blueberry picking on Saturday, so I’m bringing the fruit salad to our Christmas-morning beach picnic with friends and a berry dessert to dinner in the evening.
We didn’t put up a big pine tree this year (confession: I decorated a little cactus) but yesterday my favorite Christmas fragrance found me anyway. It was a gorgeous day, so Matt and I decided to go for a hike up a small mountain next to the beach. As we walked higher and higher, I began to notice a familiar holiday smell and realized the trail was covered in pine needles. The warmth of the strong sun and the crunch of our boots released that very festive fragrance of Christmas. It’s the most wonderful time of the year here, too.
Wishing you a very happy holiday and wonderful adventures in the new year ahead!