The 'South' I am talking about here is the Southern Hemisphere. My readers from the North have no idea how tough it is here when Christmas comes around. When I was a kid I was always confused, generally I was a confused kid, but specifically I was confused about what I was seeing with my own eyes and what I saw on TV and read in books.
As a small country, our media is not too developed meaning that a lot of our TV, Movies and Books come from other English speaking countries with bigger populations, namely the UK and the US. When it comes to Christmas up there what do you think of first? (If you are a godless heathen like me...) Father Christmas! There he goes riding his sleigh through the snow laughing all the way. Here was the first of many problems. I always wondered how Santa would get his sleigh to New Zealand as it has never snowed in Auckland, not even once, and wasn't about to start snowing in summer when the temperature was about 25 degrees C (that's 77 F for you foreigners!). In fact it worried the hell out of me. The second problem with Santa was that he was seen to go down chimneys. This was a major problem at our house as we didn't have a chimney. I made my mum (that's how we spell it here!) leave windows open all over the house so in case Santa could figure out the sleigh problem, then he would be able to get into our house. Fortunately for my mental wellbeing he always managed to leave me a little something!
Another thing that makes it hard to have Christmas in the Southern Hemisphere is the food. When we see all the great food they eat on Christmas day in the North, we are desparate to do the same. The problem is that it is just so damn hard to eat that much on a day when it doesn't get dark until 10pm and with the sun beating down. You will be happy to know that San Nakji does try his hardest, but usually the amount of food was just too much...
The whole romance and magic portrayed by the damn Northern media made every Kiwi kid dream of a white Christmas, something that was never going to happen...
I didn't see snow until I was 10 years old and even then I had to go all the way to Norway to see it. I still remember with fondness the first time I stood in a street watching and feeling the snow fall around me, this time in Sendai Japan. As the residents of Sendai ran for cover I stood there finally able to feel the magic of winter and snow.
The next time you think to complain of a snowy Christmas season, please think of us poor people in the Southern Hemisphere, forced to go to the beach, forced to BBQ and forced to spend our time outdoors... It's just hard living in the South!
San Nakji for President!