Tuesday 4 December 2012

Christmas north and south

This month's international BIO post asks us to consider the best Christmas we've ever had. For me this always involves a reflection on the merits of a northern versus southern hemisphere Christmas

Growing up in Europe conditioned me to the view that a cold, preferably white, Christmas is the only kind worth getting excited about. But after years spent in Cape Town, the special charms of an African summer Christmas worked their magic on me too.

source: www.littlegothichorrors.blogspot.com

One thing I did miss down south was the ritual of the tree. For years I peevishly and stubbornly hauled out an artificial tree every December, because it at least looked like the proper thing (sorry, my compadres, but those pines with the long spindly needles drooping sadly in all the wrong directions as though wilting in the heat,  just aren't christmas trees). 

source: www.expatcapetown.com

In earlier years living in Finland, surely the archetypal Santa-land, we used to simply wander a couple of feet into the dense forest around our rented lake cabin with an axe and (illegally, I'm sure) chop down our own. 

source: www.greenpeace.org

Here in the tame non-wilderness of England we head instead for the local commercial Christmas tree farm where we're greeted by a giant, tacky, waving Santa

and an ordered, labelled array of types and sizes ...

Getting the star on top requires team work

(and a supportive cast)

And with the likely prospect of another white Christmas, all is good and properly Christmassy. But sometimes I'm overwhelmed with nostalgia at this time of year for a December that looks like this ...

where these were the views from my toes in the sand 

and December summer living looked like this ...

(my last home in Cape Town)

and morning coffee on the balcony had this as backdrop ...

Christmas north or south ... which one does it for you?

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