Strawberries, gooseberries, black currants, red currants, cherries, and peas—ah! The signs of Christmas! They’re red and green, just like those in the Northern Hemisphere, but the greens are brighter than pine tree green, and the reds more succulent than holly berries.
They are just as festive as the colours up north, though in a different way. While you look inward, gathering around the hearth on long dark evenings, we look outward, sitting with friends on the beach on long summer days. You dream of white snow, we dream of white sand. You have visions of sugar plums dancing in your heads, we have visions of fresh strawberries dancing in ours. While you sing ‘let it snow’, we sing ‘let us go’ (to the beach).
Now and again I miss the cosy dark of Christmas in the north. And every year, I wish summer gardening, Christmas, and the end of the school year didn’t happen simultaneously. But I’ve grown to appreciate the summer Christmas. I appreciate not having to plan Christmas dinner, but letting it spring from whatever is abundant in the garden. I appreciate being able to sit outside on the porch in the sun after gifts have been opened. I appreciate the barefoot, short-sleeved, nature of Christmas here.
It’s like Christmas-lite.