Coming to terms with Christmas in summer again

It’s that time of year again, when I don’t know if it’s too soon to say the ‘C’ word.

I feel as though it could wait until December 1, but everywhere I go, I see decorations and retail displays prepping everyone for the “jolly season”.

Oh well, I’ve already said it in the headline anyway, so it’s too late to turn back now.

Let’s talk about Christmas.

Growing up in Tasmania, I always thought a summer festive season was the norm.

Sure, most of us don’t suffer through hot roasts, and as Aussies, we’ve learnt to adjust the holiday to suit the season. Barbecues, backyard cricket, a day at the beach – it can be great fun, and I wouldn’t have thought I’d like to trade it for a cold, windy winter’s day.

But, after living in the Northern Hemisphere for five years, I get it now.

That strange Christmas feeling we get from the movies, but never quite understand or experience. Mulled wine, a burning fire, a big roast dinner.

There’s something about rugging up and walking out into the hustle and bustle of a winter December. For me, the Christmas markets in Dublin and Galway were the epitome of the holiday season I’d always imagined.

The early darkness is lit up by shining lights and holiday decorations, which we have to wait until about 10pm here to experience properly.

Winter can be hard to get through when you’re on the opposite side of the world, but the month of December goes by like a flash.

I can understand now why people host ‘Christmas in July’. Of course it’s not the same as the month-long build-up you get in Europe, with lights, evening markets, music and activity, but I can understand the sentiment.

I am more of a summer person, and I am looking forward to swimming and barbecuing this December 25. But I’m equally looking forward to my next Christmas back in Ireland in the coming years.