Let me get this out of the way right here at the beginning: I am not a hater.
I may be Australian but I love Britain in the lead up to Christmas. I love fairy lights and mince pies as much as the next chump. I will buy an overpriced Advent calendar and I will dig through the dregs of my handbags to find a coin for whatever carol singers I come by. In fact, I’ll go so far as to say that December 1st to 24th is my favourite time of year in the Northern Hemisphere.
But to me, Christmas Day itself is best celebrated in the hot. When there’s blue sky above you and sand beneath your toes. Like these people:
I can already sense you don’t believe me. You’re eyeing me like I might also be a person who bought a pair of Crocs for a very specific and practical reason, and then veered off course and started wearing them in public because they’re just so comfy. I assure you, I am not that person, but I do understand your skepticism. Honestly, I do.
Literally, whenever I tell anyone I love an Australian Christmas they look aghast. “But Christmas is a winter thing’”, they cry. “It’s not a day to be spent half-naked and draped in tinsel,” they say. This, my friends, is where you are wrong.
What better way to celebrate holidays and family than by donning tacky reindeer ears and heading to the beach?
After a few years of living in the UK, I feel I am able both to pre-empt and answer all the questions you might have about Christmas when it’s hot. Here goes.
But it’s hot?
Yes, it is.
Do you still have turkey?
Yes, my family eat turkey. And ham. And roast potatoes. Although, in the interests of full disclosure, some people opt for a more seafood-y spread… but those people are wrong.
What about the jumpers and the open fires and the snow?
This is obviously a no. It’s the middle of summer. We are in bikinis and re-applying suncream every 4-6 hours and listening to the calming sound of the ocean. Sounds horrid, doesn’t it?
What about carols?
We sing carols. Yes, even ‘I’m Dreaming of a White Christmas.’
Even though it’s not actually white?
Isn’t that weird?
For some reason it never occurred to me that all the carols about the cold were because the people writing them were living in the cold. Instead, I presumed it was because Santa lived in the North Pole and it was cold where he was, so it made a weird amount of sense to my brain. Thinking it over now, I see the holes in my logic.
Have you ever spent a Christmas in Britain?
Yes, I have. A few actually. And while it’s lovely and all, I could never get over how FREAKING cold it was. I have a distinct memory of my brothers and I when we were younger, restless and bored at being indoors for so long, standing in my grandma’s garden trying to coax our cousins to play backyard cricket with us while there was still frost on the ground.
Do you think you’ve changed our minds?
I’m no fool. I know I’ve probably converted exactly 0% of people on this issue. Everyone has their own version of Christmas which is bound in sacredness – but all I’m saying is, if you ever get the opportunity, give a hot Christmas a go. You never know, you might just like it too.