All my life I’ve wanted to experience a white Christmas. The Northern Hemisphere idea of Christmas permeates culture everywhere, so much so that typical emblems of the holiday are basically synonymous with winter. And now, I’m in Canada and it’s Christmas Eve, there’s snow outside, the temperature essentially demands you wear that ridiculous jumper – and it just doesn’t feel at all like Christmas to me.
Something that I probably should have realised is that traditions are a big part of how you define things. To me, Christmas has never been about snowflakes and woolly jumpers – it’s been about 25°C sunshine, being mildly annoyed about waking up at 8 to go to church, sleeveless dresses, the inevitable game of backyard cricket, pohutukawas in full bloom, and being surrounded by all of my family. It’s lovely here in Ottawa (plus our Airbnb has 4 cats, a definite bonus), but it doesn’t feel any different to any other day. I’m excited to finally get my white Christmas, but I’m preparing myself for the homesickness that’s bound to hit pretty hard tomorrow.