Today is a special day. Santa in town! Excitement in the air. Boots polished and carefully placed in the windows, waiting to be filled up with chocolate Santa figures, candies, oranges and apples, small presents wrapped up in red Santa bags. Fingers crossed not to get golden twigs instead, that only goes for the naughty ones. Then it's bedtime. While everyone is sleeping their sweetest dreams, a nice, old man dressed up in red, with long white beard, with a big red bag full of presents, traveling from house to house, in the dark, in secret, distributes his little gifts that will make the day of many kids the following morning. Twinkles in the little eyes...
Santa Claus has many different variations around the world, on different dates, coming with different means around the Christmas season. He is also known as St. Nicholas, named after a Greek bishop, who became the patron saint of archers. He is called Mikulás in Hungary, and travels as described above from Lapland in Finland, on his sleigh with his reindeers on the 6th of December, on his name day, usually in the morning. The Dutch Sinterklaas, on the other hand, comes from Spain on horseback and through the chimney, just like the American Santa Claus, but he arrives on the 25th of December from the North Pole. And in Poland, Święty Mikołaj visits your home on Christmas Eve, on the 24th of December. French call him Father Christmas of Père Noël. And although he is known in Spain, it is not him, but the Three Kings who bring the gifts on the 6th of January. And many many more traditions if you scroll between the countries...
In New Zealand, Santa comes to town on the 25th of December. Actually, ever since 1960, he is around Queen Street early December already, in the form of an 18m high hanging statue! December is the Kiwi summer. Instead of white snowflakes, cracking wood in the fire, the smell and taste of hot wine, it is red pohutukawa trees in full bloom, BBQ season by the beach, and Christmas decor by the palm trees. Despite the differences in climate and weather conditions, all are beautiful and unique, and Christmas season is joyful everywhere.
I have to admit it is a bit strange to tune in to Christmas by the beach, under the palms, in flip-flops and bikinis. The sunshine and the 20 degrees somehow don't feel "Christmas-like" at this time of the year, but of course I don't mind the heat at all. :)
We celebrated with Santa in a beautiful park. With a picnic. With horses running around us. And many happy kids with twinkles in their eyes. Mind the snow or sunshine. :)
It's only 3 weeks left till Christmas. I think it's high time to tune in here, too. Can't wait to check out the windows of the big department stores and gaze at the Christmas decors. Can't wait to run into Santas on the beach. Maybe tomorrow I will even listen to some Christmas music. :) And today, I bring you some Summer Santa inspiration. :) To tune us in. In red. :)
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