[dropcap]I[/dropcap] had never been abroad for Christmas. In all 18 years of my life, I had never spent the festive season and, most significantly, Christmas Day in a different country. So when presented with the option to go to Australia for Christmas, I figured that throwing myself in at the deep end was the best way to break the trend.
A mere 26 hours after I had set off from London Gatwick and three long flights later, I landed in Brisbane. The first thing which my brain found most problematic was the heat. Christmas should be cold. There is no question about this. However, the festive season in Brisbane is, notably, quite hot. Lounging around on a beach among ibises and lizards, and wearing a bikini in December did feel very wrong but it wasn’t undesirable.
After about a week of walking around in shorts and crop tops (and still being too hot to function), the day finally arrived. On Christmas morning we walked down to the city beach. I expected it to be as desolate as the British streets on Christmas Day. I was wrong…
The incredible and honestly beautiful communality of Christmas Day in Brisbane, if not Australia as a whole, was striking. At the city beach, the restaurants and cafes were open and there were people everywhere. Groups of runners wearing Santa hats were making their way along the river. Families were scattered about on the grass, around the communal barbecues and opening their gifts right there.
The first thing which my brain found most problematic was the heat. Christmas should be cold. There is no question about this.
I love Christmas in the UK, but if I learnt anything from Christmas in Australia let it be that the festive season is best shared between not only friends but also strangers. If that wasn’t a good enough reason to go to the other side of the globe for Christmas Day then, let it be known, brussel sprouts don’t exist in Australia.