Friday, December 20, 2013

that's the spirit!

Well, a Southern Hemisphere Christmas is shaping up to be just kinda weird. The days are getting longer and longer. It gets dark about 10PM now, so Christmas lights aren't really a thing since you can't really turn them on and get the impact until most people are thinking about bed. And the weather is just getting warmer (which I'm not actually complaining about) so it doesn't really lend itself to the Christmas Spirit I'm used to. Christmas carols are played here and there, but aren't shoved down your throat. People tend to have BBQs and beach parties as opposed to curling up inside, and the idea of a White Christmas, is just that: an idea. Lots of patients ask me about the famous White Christmas experience. The other odd thing is that all the Christmas decorations are still mostly winter-themed, with snowmen and all the other wintry stuff. Stores even have snow displays or fake snow painted on the windows. So they do still kind of get into the decorating, but it's no American Classic Cold Christmas.
  So with that comes a little decline in my Christmas Spirit (which is still pretty good. don't feel sorry for me. I probably get a little too excited usually). And the Christmas Spirit isn't the only thing that's a little less over-the-top for me this year. My Christmas Tree (my pride and joy back home)  has gone from this:

To This:
Still not bad. It is topped with a little Glass Kiwi one of the nurses I work with gave me!

Have a closer look:

To Help Bring up the Christmas Factor, I decided a tree wasn't going to be enough. So I snatched up this gem: 
It's hard to tell from the picture, but it has a ton of gold glitter and is actually 3-D with the little elves that live in his beard : )   My favorite part of this was when I bought it, then had to carry it several blocks across the streets of Invercargill. I pretty much giggled the whole way b/c of all the looks I was getting carrying this ridiculous giant Santa face around. I may have taken the long way back to the car...

I also got this little fella to hang out with me while I blog:
It changes colors.  It plugs into my USB drive for power. It's instant Christmas Joy.

Maybe the reason Christmas Trees aren't so major here is because everything else is still green and pretty with all the flowers in bloom and the trees all leafed out. At home, the Christmas Tree is the only plant that really looks alive (which is funny b/c they are either fake or dead b/c they've been cut down....) Here, my tree has a backdrop of live trees, flowers, and the occasional rainbow:

So as Christmas charges at us, I'll be trying to amplify the Christmas Spirit in the Southlands. There is actually a Santa Parade in Riverton on Christmas Eve, so I'll go check that out after work on Tuesday. then I'm on call Christmas Day. I've been invited to the house of every person I work with and a few patients as well, so I may make some rounds and visit people here and there between skyping in for the family events back home. 

So although Christmas Day will be a little less exciting for me this year, I will say that New Year's Eve this year is bound to be pretty epic. I am meeting my cousin and her friend in Sydney (Australia) for a week and a half, so we'll be among the first to ring in the new year, and at one of the biggest NYE celebrations in the world. I head over there December 27th. It'll be great to get a dose of family, and at the holidays at that, so that's making being away for Christmas a lot easier. 
To those of you that are with your loved ones this time of year, enjoy it. Don't take it for granted. try not to let the hustle and bustle get to you. Be grateful for the holiday buzz. For those of you who are away from your family for the holidays, I hope you make the most of it and find some type of beauty in the situation you're in. It's there. You just have to look for it and acknowledge it.
Merry Christmas!

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