"Who wants to spend Christmas in a tropical climate anyway"? Wise words from a young Kevin McAllister in my favourite Christmas movie, Home Alone. For those of us living in the Northern Hemisphere, Christmas time is a time for wooly hats and crackling fire places. For building snowmen and sipping on mulled wine.
But, how would you feel about a sun drenched christmas where the crisp snow is swapped for soft sand?
In two weeks we will be jetting off to The Philippines and then onto New Zealand in time for Christmas. I have spent two christmas' in New Zealand and countless in Scotland before that, so what's the difference? Other than the weather, of course, how different can a sun kissed, Kiwi Christmas be compared to that of a snow scattered, Scottish one?
1. Well, the Christmas cards are rather different for starters
In Scotland, you can expect the traditional christmas card, depicting a snow covered house or a smiling snow man. Meanwhile in New Zealand, you can get anything from a sandy beach on a summers day or a cute little Kiwi! Which one would you rather receive in the post?
A Scottish Card
A New Zealand Christmas Card
2. Who needs mulled wine when it's 25 degrees?
What could be better on a winters night than a mug of steaming mulled wine? Even Yankee candles sell a mulled wine scent in December. It's spices and warmth is the essence of Christmas however, when it's 25 degrees outside and you're in the baking sun, mulled wine doesn't work quite as well. Instead most kiwi's kick back with a chilled beer fresh out the chilly bin (cool box for non-kiwi's :P).
3. There will be no Turkey with stuffing in Kiwiland
Ah Christmas dinner, the best meal of the year. In Scotland i'm fairy positive most households will consist of a Turkey, stuffing, at least 3 different kinds of potatoes and those delicious bacon wrapped sausages. Who doesn't love pork on pork?! There will also be the hated but necessary brussels sprouts (seriously, why?). In New Zealand, however, most people would have a barbecue. Kiwi's love their meat so a barbecued steak with some veggies in the summer sun is their delicious alternative!
Good old roast turkey!
Barbecued NZ steak!
4. Santa also wears a little less clothing on the Southern Hemisphere...
Santa when he visits Scotland (Because it's bloody freezing!)
...and when he arrives in New Zealand
5. Pavlova VS Profiteroles
What even is Christmas without profiteroles I hear you wonder. I know it's hard to look past those delicious little balls of heaven. But, New Zealand has a kinda awesome alternative...
I won't get involved in the age old debate about whether the Aussie's or the Kiwi's invented it first. But whoever created it, I salute you, because what a creation it is! Crispy meringue on the outside and all gooey on the inside, topped with fresh fruit and cream! Yum!
6. Boxing Day activities differ ever so slightly..
Whilst in Scotland, Boxing Day is a seen as a day for sitting in your new pyjamas eating leftovers and watching either Zulu or the Great Escape on BBC1, New Zealand do things a little different. Since the weather is so great, it seems a bit of a waste to spend it indoors so many Kiwi's head to the Boxing Day races. That's right, they get out of their pyjamas, put on their best gear and head out for a day in the sun!
7. New Zealanders have their very own Christmas Tree.
Uh huh, you read correctly. You can forget your standard green christmas tree. Kiwi's have their very own Christmas Tree and it's so pretty there is no need to decorate it. This is the Pohutukawa tree, which blossoms red flowers between November and January every year, making it New Zealand's very own christmas tree!
A Scottish Tree!
A Kiwi Tree!
The cold, snowy christmas with twinkling lights, sledging and snowball fights is what feels like Christmas to me. Although I am more than happy to be escaping the cold this year and instead, spending it in the sunshine in beautiful New Zealand.
What is Christmas to you? The cold, winter nights or sandcastles and suntan lotion?