1. As the midsummer sun beat down on your town’s annual Santa Parade, Santa riding the ute-sleigh at the front looked very hot underneath all that wool and synthetic hair.

2. You had to wait for your parents to finish milking the cows before you could have Christmas lunch…

3. …which often included more than your older brother’s legal quota of freshly-caught crayfish cooked on the barbie…

4. …and definitely included Pavlova.

5. You’d usually sweated through your paper hat before you even started lunch.

6. Whether you liked it or not, cricket descended upon the back garden, the beach, and the living room. All summer long.

7. You wondered why the Pohutukawa Tree is called the ‘New Zealand Christmas Tree’, because everyone still followed Northern Hemisphere traditions and decorated their living rooms with a pine tree…

8. …which they cut from the side of the road or a paddock, while one person kept an eye out for the cops.

9. Every year, without fail, you were disappointed that Christmas Day wasn’t as hot as you would’ve liked, but by New Year’s Day it was all sun, surf, and sand.

10. But you became annoyed at all of the out-of-towners (cough, Aucklanders) invading your beach, and realised that the only good thing about the holidays being over was that you would get it to yourself again.

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