Blog – by Head Weather Analyst, Philip Duncan
Let me make it clear – I LOVE Christmas. I don’t care if I hear Christmas music in the malls early, I don’t mind the creepy big Santa in Queen Street being up in November. I don’t mind the Christmas advertising. And I don’t mind being asked 6 weeks in advance about what the weather will be like for Christmas Day this year. (My guess is cloudy in the north and sunny in the south…based on nothing but guesswork as it’s far too early to know!).
But there is one small problem I have with Christmas…in fact, it’s kind of a big problem. The weather doesn’t match the occasion – at least not in our country.
While I was born and raised in New Zealand many that I’m close to were not. For example my mother, born and raised in London, England. Or my cousins, born and raised in Ontario, Canada. It’s this external connection that has helped me enjoy two Christmases in the northern hemisphere…. and have been able to, several times now, enjoy the Christmas and New Year spirit in the northern hemipshere with the cold temperatures, egg nog, snow, pine trees, short days, and stunning decorations to light up the dreary, bleak, days at this time fo the year.
Once you’ve experienced a Christmas with snow around you, suddenly seeing Santa at a New Zealand Christmas parade wearing a woolly jacket in 28 degree heat just looks plain wrong.
So do outdoor Christmas decorations.
I loved the magic and beauty of Christmas in the northern hemisphere…but I definitely don’t prefer it. I absolutely value the Christmas we have here in New Zealand. People on the beaches cooking a BBQ or playing cricket. Our own native Christmas tree, the Pohutukawa, flowering brilliantly (nothing makes me feel more like Christmas than that tree in flower). I love the fact that in NZ the weather is usually dry and usually warm. I love that Christmas Day goes forever here in New Zealand…with the sun up well before 6am and not getting dark until around 9pm in Auckland and of course closer to 11pm in Southland. So many hours to eat, drink, enjoy our presents, sleep, eat again.
Isn’t there a way we can embrace our weather a little more at Christmas time…and put more of a kiwi twist on having Christmas in this country? Or is it a traditional that can’t be tinkered with…it simply is what it is.
Image / One of the most spectacular Christmas Light displays in NZ, on Beach Road, Te Atatu Peninsula
on 24/11/2010 8:36pm
As a kid I never thought about there not being snow or sitting down to a huge hot winter style dinner on xmas day. As long as I got a visit from father christmas I was happy. It’s not until we get older we start to think about it. Back then all the xmas stuff including xmas cards were covered in snowy pictures etc. Now you can get kiwi beachscene xmas cards and most people have a bbq xmas dinner.I would love to at least get to see one white xmas, which would mean an overseas trip. It’s a pity in nz we have summer holidays and xmas all at once, and nothing for the rest of the year.
Santa could always wear jandals and a sunhat to the santa parades, but still have to wear his santa jacket!
on 24/11/2010 12:31am
Totally agree, and this is why Halloween doesn’t work here either – it’s completely the wrong season for it. Plus 90% of xmas songs mean nothing in the southern hemisphere.
on 23/11/2010 9:33pm
Though we see many postcards depicting Xmas in winter with hot festive food in the cold with snow,many of us arn’t used to it especially if you never experienced snow at the xmas period let alone any other period in N.Z even in winter!