Christmas in New Zealand
A winter festival in the middle of summer!
If you come from the northern hemisphere then experiencing Christmas in the southern hemisphere is totally weird, because you have a winter festival on one of the hottest days of the year.
To confuse you even more, the images of Christmas are just the same in the southern hemisphere are they are in the north - things like snowmen, snowy Christmas trees, and Santa on his sled, being pulled through the snow by his reindeer. So lots of snowy things, then. Erm, on a hot day.
To make matters worse, some (evil) New Zealanders and Australians decorate the windows of their houses with plastic snowflakes and spray-on-snow from a can.
Which they think is lovely. But my body is telling my brain it's 30°C and sunny at the same time as my eyes are telling my brain "ooh, snow". It's not good. My brain short-circuits and I'm left stunned and confused, like a rabbit in headlights.
To reinforce the confusion, Christmas songs in the southern hemisphere are just the same as on the rest of the planet. So everywhere I go, in my shorts and T shirt, cos it's hot and sunny, I'm bombarded with "I'm dreaming of a white Christmas", "Frosty the Snowman", "Let it snow" and "Winter Wonderland".
Song lyrics have a powerful effect on my small brain — the message gets fired straight to the central control room. So if I'm walking down the street on a scorching hot day, and Bing Crosby informs me it's gonna be a white Christmas, my brain starts to throttle itself and shut down.
Hot + Winter Festival = can't compute.
It affects the rest of the year too. Because Christmas in the southern hemisphere is in the middle of summer, it makes the winter drag on and on. You need something to look forward to when the days are short and cold. Which is why Christmas in the northern hemisphere rocks.
Then again, it is cool having to slap on the factor 30 to celebrate a winter festival with a barbecue at the beach.