Creating Christmas Cheer In A Warm Climate
It’s a fact of life that Christmas in the southern hemisphere is often a sweaty event. Here in Australia, chances are we’ll be gathering around a powerful air-conditioner rather than an open fire, wearing Christmas t-shirts rather than Christmas jumpers, and tobogganing down sand dunes rather than snowy slopes.
While there’s an undeniable charm about warm-weather Christmases, they can feel a little less festive thanks to the fact we’ve all grown up with an abundance of pop-culture references to Christmases celebrated in the depths of winter. On top of this, there are certain traditions that just make more sense in cold climates, like big roast meals, Santa hats, and hot mince pies. Here are some ideas to ramp up the Christmas cheer this year, regardless of the temperature outside.
Deck the halls
Heed the advice of this well-known Christmas carol and adorn your home with festive decorations. Erect the tree, string up the lights, hang the stockings, and pop a wreath on your front door. While the snow-free backyard might not replicate those stereotypical Christmas images, there’s no reason the inside of your home can't.
Put Mariah on repeat
Or Bing, Dean, or Nat - whoever tickles your fancy! Research shows festive tunes boost our mood through happy associations of Christmases past, from childhood memories right through to last year’s family gathering. Remember that - as with any song - our enjoyment of Jingle Bells or Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer will reach its peak after a few listens, so in order to avoid annoying yourself (and anyone else within earshot), make sure your playlist is varied.
Create your own warm weather traditions
Rather than sweating through a roast meal and experiencing the discomfort of an increasingly-sticky cracker hat, make your own rules this Christmas. Opt for chilled champagne over mulled wine, whip up a no-bake dessert in place of the Christmas pudding, or ditch time indoors for a BBQ at your closest beach, where you can enjoy multiple pre-lunch swims, a game of cricket, and a sandman building contest.
Press play on your favourite festive movie
Crank the air-con in the lounge room for a family screening of your favourite Christmas movie. Our top picks are Love Actually, Elf, Miracle on 34th Street, and Home Alone. If you’re more about action than rom-com, feel free to use the Christmas party setting in Die Hard as a basis for your festive selection. If you put the air-con on high, you might even be able to snuggle up together underneath a cosy throw .
Make Christmas smells
Even if you’re not roasting a ham or turkey this year (a-la suggestion number three) your home can still smell festive. Burn a beautiful scented candle, like our rich Vanilla version, or fossick through your kitchen to create your own scented simmering pot. Simply collect some fruits and spices - like oranges, apples, cinnamon, and cloves - cover with water and simmer on low, checking the water level every couple of hours and topping up as required. The smell will permeate your whole house, putting everyone in a distinctly festive frame of mind.
See the lights
Take an after-dark stroll or drive around your neighbourhood to admire sparkling Christmas light displays. If you’re not sure where to find them, visit this handy website and pop in your suburb for a list of the best and brightest. The fact you can do this in a pair of shorts without any risk of frostbite is something your northern hemisphere friends will no doubt be very jealous of, so make sure you send them photos.
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