Well not exactly, these southern hemisphere Christmases are hard to get used to. Since moving to New Zealand all my old indicators of festivities soon to come have been replaced by their total opposites. Instead of days growing shorter, they grow longer. Instead of darkness closing in around 4:30 pm, the daylight lazily lingers until 9 o'clockish. It grows warmer instead of colder. I find myself peeling off layers of unnecessary clothing rather than swaddling myself in fleece and wool. And buying bathing suits in December? absurd! (unless you were one of those lucky kids who had relatives to visit in Florida). My stateside brother's taunts of me living in 'backwards land' are starting to sound quite accurate.
With all this confusion its no wonder that I am having difficulty recognising the holiday season. So what can be done about it? How can I trick myself into thinking that it is Christmas? Well, for starters, I have put up a few reminders. Of course there is the calendar hanging on the wall which accurately states December, but now there are also twinkle lights wrapped around a bouquet of bare tree branches (read Christmas tree), homemade Christmas chocolates in the fridge, and wrapped presents in clear sight. That should do it, right? And if all that fails, I just need to walk down to Queen street and take a long, hard look at the 10 ft tall, mechanized Santa perched atop Whitcoull's book store, coyly winking and wiggling his index finger in the come hither manner of a child predator - reminding us all that it really is Christmas. Thanks Creepy Santa!