How to Celebrate Christmas in the Summer

If you're from the southern hemisphere, it can be a struggle during the festive season to find decorations and activities for the family that aren't based around the north's wintery weather. Here's a guide on celebrating Christmas, while still embracing the warmth of summer.


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    Decorate your home festively. Setting off the season with decoration is great to set the mood and create excitement. For a summer mood, avoid snowflakes, fake snow, or snowmen- instead, combine both traditional northern decorations like mistletoe, yule logs, Christmas trees, and holly with a southern twist- native flora, seashells and beachwear. Santa Claus is iconic, so if in doubt, throw around some red and white fleece, twinkling tinsel and baubles. Try a wreath made of gum tree flowers, gumnut and eucalyptus if you're Australian, or pohutukawa and ferns for a Kiwi touch, and hang from your front door to welcome visitors.
    • Don't be afraid to go for the kitschy or silly route (think Santa in jandals drinking a beer, or Rudolph surfing) if you're so inclined.
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    Wear plenty of Christmas-themed clothes and accessories. This doesn't mean you have to wear a full Santa beard and costume every day of December- a simple glittery bow, or throwing on a Santa hat at a picnic, are both good and casual ideas, that will mean you won't overheat. While they may be festive, avoid jumpers or fleecy costumes, as they put you at risk of over-heating.
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    Plan excursions with loved ones. If you have kids, there are plenty of kid's Christmas parades, fairs, events and other charming things for the children to do in summer. Research your local Christmas parades or Santa's grotto and plan accordingly. If you'd prefer a grown-up event, plan a barbeque or head to the beach with friends. You can hold a Christmas party at your house as a family reunion too, with crafts for the kids and cocktails for the adults. Christmas is the time to get back in touch with family and old friends, so even a quick Skype call with your old flatmate is festive enough.
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    Prepare a feast. This should traditionally consist of a roast as the centre of it all (sweet ham, lamb, beef or poultry, with all the trimmings), plenty of boiled veggies, potatoes, gravy and a pudding, however, most people down-under prefer to combine this traditional meal with barbecued sausages and steak, potato chips and dip, summer fruits (nectarines, kiwifruit, strawberries) with ice cream, and, of course, a pavlova. Keep it light and casual, and keep plenty of drinks on hand to keep anyone from getting dehydrated in the sun.
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    Get ready for Santa on Christmas Eve, if you have children. Websites like NORAD Santa Tracker alert your kids when Santa is meant to arrive in certain places around the world, including New Zealand and Australia, and the Pacific islands. In anticipation for this, you can lay out carrots for the reindeer, TimTams for Santa, paired with a cold glass of beer. Set up the stockings on the mantelpiece (or the pillowcases under the tree, in most cases) and clean out the fireplace. Your children may find Santa has left snowy footprints or a note from the North Pole on Christmas morning, at the request of the parents.


  • Always be careful while spending time outside in summer that everyone is applying sunscreen regularly, and keeping out of the sun during 12-3pm if possible. This is especially important since the ozone layer is thinner around New Zealand.[citation needed]

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