It was about 80 degrees in Hamilton and my coworkers were wearing their little strappy tops and sassy shoes for the Christmas party. I ran to snap quick photos of the OT Department’s “Kiwi Christmas” decorations that included Santa on a boogie board and a beach camp set up with vegemite sandwiches and perusing pukeko birds. Then, I boarded a plane at 8:15pm; at 8:45pm I arrived in St. Louis, incredibly groggy after a “30 minute” flight that lasted longer than 2008.
Around New Zealand, Santa surfed on lightpoles and a storefront window even boasted him being pulled in a tractor by a team of 8 magical flying sheep. Co-workers talked about their plans: Dressed in swim togs, sunnies and jandals, toting the chilly bin to the beach for a barbie. I really tried to believe that New Zealand could host Christmas just as well as St. Louis. I even joined our department’s “Christmas Decoration Committee” just to get in the spirit. As it turned out, it was the most stressful committee I’ve been a part of and in exasperation I spent 3 days making giant-gingerbread-with-special-needs (cast, wheelchair, and a bite out of the ass). Really though I think my holiday memories were more convincing than calendars and I decided: Christmas just can’t exist if you’re wearing flip flops.
That’s OK, because me and my suntan arrived in St. Louis last week in a shuddering 17 degrees. We pulled up to our house decorated with white lights and little wooden candle scenes in the windows and I knew that “Christmas has now begun.” And it had and it has and it is. Cookies and drawing cartoons, soccer and scavenger hunts, wine and more wine, beading and big breakfasts– this is truly the life, and truly Christmas as I dream about it.
Hope all of you are also rolling in those simple things that make the holidays stand apart from the rest of the year. Let stress fall like sugar down the gullet, and people-time replace paperwork-time. Cheers to you all!
P.S. Since I can’t seem to figure out how to get rid of the vast white above this entry, let’s just call it “special effects”–a blizzard to set the scene. ; )