I have been here in New Zealand for the past 13 odd years, would I ever leave, depends where we are going, but would I move back to England...never!!
Even if it has taken me all this time to get use to having Christmas in the sun, I still miss loads to do with Christmas.
As much as we celebrate everything here, it definitely has a different feel to it.
I love the warmth of the sun but miss the warm snuggled houses with the fires roaring and everyone wearing their latest christmas inspire sweater!
I love the fact that people do decorate their houses with lights etc but hate that you have to go out at 10pm to be able to view them in their full shinnest gleam.
I miss the lights glowing in all the shop windows as you race round town late one evening for the last few gifts you desperately need or desire.
I miss the whole atmosphere that takes over in the whole month of December as you count down to Christmas with the lights, the music, the cold nights and the food. Here December wanders in and suddenly you are more concerned with the fact that the school year is closing, what are you doing with the kids over the summer break, are we going to have sunshine whilst we camp at Christmas and has summer actually started or not!
There never seems to be any real lead up to Christmas, just suddenly one day you remember and then think Holy s%#t, we only have xyz weeks to go and I have got nothing done!
I also, ultimately, miss Christmas carols.
Yes I can play a CD at home but it just does not have the same effect as standing in the cold listening to a beautiful choir fill the air with the round crisp tones of a full choir.
I miss hearing a soloist sing "Once in Royal David's City" and then the effect when the full choir comes in with verse 2.
I miss going to a carol concert leading up to Christmas, where everyone is in a jolly mood, happy to see everyone, enjoying the atmosphere and the music and munching on their christmas faire of cake and mince pies (although I will never miss either of those as I can't stand dried fruit, although never fear, we may be in full sun shine on Christmas Day but people do still insist on Christmas pudding, brandy cream / custard, Christmas cake and mince pies)
I also miss snowmen, seems a silly thing to miss but I have found that all decorations here have Santa on them, nothing seems to be snowmen orientated.
Mainly I think because we don't have snow!
So nowadays if I see something with snowmen on it and it is cute, then I snap it up really quick.
Overal, I do love Christmas here, it is very different to a winter Christmas but definitely something I would recommend everyone tries.