As predicted before I moved over to Australia, Christmas is proving to be the time of year I miss London the most. Having spent the last 29 years celebrating Christmas in the UK, it’s a time that I associate with roaring fires, snow-covered rooftops and a sharp chill in the air. It’s possible that I’m looking at winter through rose-coloured glasses because I haven’t had to deal with it this year, but it’s definitely been harder to get into the festive spirit.
I’m absolutely not complaining, nice weather is amazing and a 35 degree Christmas in your bikini is certainly nothing to sniff at – it’s just not what feels Christmassy to me, so I’ve had to look for ways to bring that festive buzz into my life, even when it’s scorching hot outside.
// Deck Those Halls //
I’ve definitely been the more enthusiastic person in my relationship when it comes to decorating the house, and whilst I’ve not gone overboard, I did put the Christmas tree up just shy of December 1st. Given we’re flying to the Gold Coast on the 23rd of this month, I wanted to ensure I had maximum enjoyment time before we left. This was the first year I’ve not got a real tree (a thought I’d normally shudder at) but to be honest the one we have looks really nice. I wouldn’t say I’m a convert, but I see the appeal of artificial trees for ease, it’s just a shame they don’t give off the same scent as a real tree – you can’t beat it!
// Christmas Scents //
Filling my home with the scents of Christmas has really helped to put me in the festive spirit. I’ve bought a reed diffuser and a couple of candles that are doing a fantastic job of hitting me with the scents I most associate with Christmas as soon I walk in my door and giving me that ‘oh my god it’s Christmas soon’ excitement.
// Enjoy The Lights //
One of my favourite things about Christmas in the UK was going for an evening walk and admiring people’s Christmas lights and Christmas trees. I’ll be honest, there’s not much of that happening in Melbourne – given it doesn’t get dark until 9pm there’s not that much point. That said, many of the buildings in the city have decorated themselves in lights and cheer so there is the opportunity to do a bit of light gazing should I really miss it.
// Christmas Baking //
Cooking up your favourite Christmas delicacies is a great way to put yourself in the festive spirit. In all honesty it’s not something I’ve done myself as since going gluten and dairy free there aren’t many traditional Christmas delicacies that I can still eat (my favourites were bread sauce and stuffing!) however if I could, I would definitely spend the time creating some of my favourite dishes. Just because Australian’s have a BBQ style Christmas dinner it doesn’t mean there isn’t room on the table for you to bring something to share that tastes like Christmas to you.
// Give Back //
Spending some time doing something for those less fortunate is something you can do regardless of where you spend Christmas. Whilst it’s a favourite time for so many of us, it can also be an incredibly lonely time. Taking the time to reflect on how fortunate you are and doing something to give back is a really nice way to do something festive for others. Whether it’s volunteering at a homeless shelter, making a donation or clearing out your wardrobe and donating it to charity – it’s so important to think of those who might be spending the day alone. I’ll be making a donation to Melbourne City Mission this year, but when I’m more settled I’d love to volunteer with the elderly.
Most of all, when I’m feeling a bit glum I just remind myself how lucky I actually am. Whilst my friends and family are chipping ice off their windshields, I’m able to look out the window to a clear blue sky and a warm sunny day in December. I’m excited to spend the next few weeks laying on the beach, having fun with friends and experiencing Christmas in a new way!
What are your thoughts on a hot Christmas?