Gotta admit, it doesn’t really feel like Christmas here. I’m not bundled in giant scarves and wrapping presents, not getting last minute tickets for the Bolt Bus to Baltimore, not wrapping books for my students or drinking everything in sight at holiday parties. Here, the sun sets at 9:30pm and there are peonies and cherries at the farmer’s market. In New York, the words farmer’s market and Christmas don’t even go together, because I’m pretty sure the only thing being sold at the market are potatoes and onions.
It feels like the Christmas I know is only on the internet, where people are posting pictures of their trees and blogging about DIY decorations. I forget that it is mid december when I walk barefoot to the post office, past the cricket game and the rose bushes in full bloom. The sign outside the post office informs wee ones of Santa’s mailing address and the line of customers with parcels under an arm is out the door. Okay, so it is my Christmas on the internet and in the post office.
They do Christmas here, but it is as if you were doing a really fancy Christmas in July party. We just received the December issue of Donna Hay, which is like a cooler Aussie version of Martha Stewart. They feature DIY projects and recipes, but it is a mash up between Christmas, summer flavors and garden party. Check out the Christmas photo shoot:
The dessert recipes are for things like white peach and raspberry pie, gingerbread man ice cream sandwiches, and fig and date ice cream cake with brandy syrup. It is really interesting to see the how seasonal produce and traditional flavors influence dishes that everyone associates with Christmas. I’ve created a venn diagram to better illustrate this point:
It’s strange not doing Christmas my way, but a lovely change of pace. The most obvious difference is that there isn’t so much of an emphasis on presents and spending dough, but that may also be because we have been hanging out in a town full of travelers on budgets. I’ll miss my family for sure, but plan to eat and drink plenty at the Orphan’s Christmas dinner that we will have at our house here in Wanaka on Christmas Eve.
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays, Folks!