Wednesday, December 5, 2018

A Summery Christmas

I know that many of my readers live in the northern hemisphere, so I thought it might be fun to talk about my summery Christmases.

I have lived in New Zealand all my life, so having a roast Christmas lunch on a warm and sunny day is completely normal to me :)  Many people have barbeques and more summery fare instead, but to me a traditional roast meal always spells Christmas.

Late December isn’t really the high point of summer heat here, but if we’re lucky it will be a pleasant temperature.  From my childhood I seem to remember mid-afternoon stormy sun-showers, but I’m not sure how many Christmases were actually like that!

In spite of the festive season falling in our summer, most of our Christmas traditions are wintry.  Crazily enough, it doesn’t seem strange at all for me to be humming ‘Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow’ or watching Christmas movies set in the winter when the sun is shining bright and warm outside.

There is so much charm to be had from imagining cozy wool hats, mittened hands holding a cup of hot chocolate, and a family sitting around a big table with a roaring fire going.  These visions fuel my Christmas fun as I put in a sleeveless sundress to get a bit of colour on my arms and legs while I take the dogs for a walk.

As the years go by and I have become clearer on how I want my Christmas to look and feel, the more I love the festive season.  I say a big YES to: holiday-themed feel-good romantic comedy books, Christmas movies and music, going out to view Christmas lights, having a simple yet beautiful Christmas decor, and joyful entertaining at home throughout December.  More and more I strive to say a polite ‘non’ to: gifts, that rushed hurried feeling and unnecessary stress.

I also love to wear a nice dress on Christmas day.  It seems a day for dressing up, and I would never wear jeans, even though I wear jeans 90% of the time.  It doesn’t have to be a newly purchased dress, although I have done that in the past and it feels good to have something new to wear on Christmas day.  This year I have a navy floral dress which I recently bought for my husband’s work Christmas function.  (It’s this style here and I love it!)

Please tell me about where you live and what Christmas day is normally like weather-wise, and also what you plan to wear if you have your outfit already picked out!


PS.  My Christmas prep series 'A Chic and Simple Christmas' is available on YouTube.  There are ten tips to help you feel good about the holiday season.  They are quick to watch, and in a playlist so you don't have to start each video individually.  View my holiday video series here.


  1. Fiona, your warm Christmas sounds lovely. Here in Atlanta Georgia USA we never know what weather to expect. Although it is winter, we often have fairly warm weather. I remember photos from childhood when we took our toys, bike, skates out wearing only a sweater. Other Christmas are more wintery with cold and sometimes icy temps. We rarely get snow in Atlanta until late January or February, so White Christmas is only a song for us. I've seen photos of Hawaii Christmas with palm trees lit like Christmas trees! That would be different. Here's to a lovey Christmas however your weather may be.
    P.S. Love the blue dress!

    1. And a Merry Christmas to you! For our belated honeymoon several years ago we arrived in Hawaii on Christmas day, and even though it felt warm and summery, it got dark between 5.30pm and 6pm because it was winter, which felt so odd!

  2. I grew up with the full British Christmas in New Zealand and as my dad was Scottish we repeated the meal on New Years Day for Hogmanay. Over the years it has morphed into roast/s, new potatoes and salad.
    I like your comment about saying ‘non’ to gifts; I work for a largish company and today we were asked if we wanted to take part in Secret Santa. My whole department declined and we have decided to use the money we would have spent on this on buying gifts/food for others who have a need.
    Love your tree ��

    1. Hi Fiona! Yes, perhaps what I consider to be an English style roast meal is actually a bit lighter and summerier than winter fare, and we have fresh fruit salad and ice cream along with our steamed pudding :)

  3. Hi Fiona, I'm from So. California and it is very rare to see snow here unless we travel a few of hours to the mountains. It would be lovely to have a light powdering of snow... oh, and to see beautiful snowflakes drifting down from the sky ... a girl can dream, right? It would be magical :) I'm sure I've mentioned before the website Wintercozy.tumblr. That is where I get my fill of gentle wintery scenes for Christmas.

    For Christmas day itself, I typically dress nice but casual. Some of the other members of my extended family actually wear shorts and flip flops! I plead with my husband not to copy them ;)


  4. I've often wondered what it was like for you in NZ with the weather during this season. It sounds lovely. And the dress you linked is so lovely. It's going to look perfect on you.

  5. Fiona, I LOVE the dress you chose for Christmas. It's a lovely color and style.

    Christmas here is seldom cool. I can remember more Christmases where temperatures were in the 80s and a balmy breeze was blowing through the pine trees than I remember being cold, though it can be cold, too. No snow here, though. That almost always comes in autumn or spring but seldom in winter. Our Christmas is fairly traditional here too, though it never occurs on Christmas Day due to the schedule of my medic husband. I usually wear jeans but try to have a nicer top on for our family get together since I am responsible for so many meals and clear-ups and grandchildren on that day, but for my husband's and my meal I will wear something nicer, but not dressy because my husband is a casual sort of person and I hate to show him up.

  6. Hi Fiona...Your Christmas sounds wonderful and your dress is beautiful! Here in Pennsylvania it is cold today and there may be snow this weekend - but you never really know how it is going to be on Christmas. A few years ago it was in the 70's! It is usually cold though...and I love that so we can have a fire in the fireplace. We have an Eastern European "Holy Supper" on Christmas Eve and I dress in dressy causal for that as I am doing the cooking. Last year was our first year in our new apartment and we had 6 new friends from our building join us for Holy Supper. It was so much fun to share our traditions...and as December 24th is my sweet husband's birthday we had a lot of people to sing Happy Birthday, too. Christmas Day we go to church - love to hear the music and see the creche. So, that means a dress...then dinner at family or friends - I stay dressed for Christmas and make sure to wear a Christmas pin. Right now in the planning stages for all the fun....we made one batch of cookies today and tomorrow is going to be a BIG cookie day! I know I should not eat too many...but to me, it is just not Christmas without cookies!

  7. Happy holidays,Fiona! Your home looks gorgeous and I love your new dress! We just finished celebrating Christmas with one of our sons & his wife - they have to work at Christmas time. Our other son and his girlfriend will visit in March because we're getting ready to move. All our holidays are quite flexible because everybody lives all over the place and has a lot going on! Usually a big dinner that I TRY to make work with everybody's diet requirements, depending on who's here. Hope your Christmas is merry and bright!

  8. Hi Fiona,
    I know here in Indiana it is dreadfully cold! We had a snow storm today but luckily it was still "warm" enough so the snow did not stick. On Christmas day I usually wear a "glittery" sweater, flowy skirt, and sparkle shoes. I love to sparkle on those days. I hope that you have a wonderful Christmas and I love your tree!


Merci for your comment. Wishing you a chic day!

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