Read To Travel

How To Cope With Spending The Holidays In The Hot, Sunny Southern Hemisphere

I like to believe that I am a proper northern girl.   Not only am I from the Northern Hemisphere of the world, I’m from the northeast of the United States–a region that receives some of the most brutal winters.  I’m talking power outages and snow up past the top of the doorway.  During my childhood, winter consisted of sledding and building snow forts until there was no feeling left in my hands and feet.  I was born in a blizzard.

For most, the holiday season is a time of merriment.  It is a time when we let ourselves actually take a break from the hustling all year long and spend our days with loved ones.  The holidays are an opportunity to breathe, relax, and enjoy.  We overindulge on tasty foods, imbibe copiously (and encourage others to do the same), and just have a good time.

For me, and many other native northerners, snow is the blanket of the holiday season.  It is the perfect red bow tied around December signifying that everything is accounted for and all is well.  ‘Tis the season.

Since I have been living on an Oceanic island for almost two months, I find myself completely out of sync with my Christmas cheer.  I missed my first Thanksgiving at home ever and am now in the midst of coping with spending my first Christmas and birthday away from home.

Before you feel too bad for me while I’m BBQing on the beach in December, I have accumulated some incredibly effective techniques for coping with a warm, non-white Christmas.



So you can’t frolic through the snow in your favorite winter essential knitted by your knitter best friend… but you can do something most northerners cannot in December and that is take a refreshing dip in the ocean!


Remember earlier when I said that the holidays are a time when everyone finds the perfect excuse to over-imbibe?  That sentiment is universal in my personal experience.  (Insider Tip: Drinking one’s weight in red wine allows for the illusion that one is in a cold weather place where the company of a deep red brings a fireplace’s warmth.)


One of my top winter activities at home is… you’ve guessed it! Hunker down in my softest sweat suit with a fuzzy blanket and my current Netflix obsession.  Though I am ditching the sweats this December, my Gilmore Girls addiction remains stronger than ever (especially with the recent release of A Year in the Life)!


Coffee, gingerbread men, warm apple pie, hot cider, hot chocolate, hot toddy, peppermint chocolate chip cookies, monkey bread. The list goes on. Need I say more?


Since I believe I will always be a kid at heart, I know I will never be too old to play pretend.  Have a pretend “snow day” by locking yourself in with all of your favorite Christmas movies, a big pot (or three) of warm, spicy mulled wine, and transform your living room into a winter wonderland.

Tara Higgins

Tara Higgins

Tara loves all things London and wants to spend the rest of her life reading books in beautiful places. She can often be found nestled up in a bookshop, drinking a pint at the pub, or searching for the best pizza slice in town.

  • Arielle

    Being from LA, this sounds like exactly what we do. Except for BBQs on the beach, ’cause that’s usually illegal 😛 I can’t remember ever having a cold Christmas until I moved to Missouri.

    December 22, 2016 at 9:51 AM
    • Tara Higgins
      Tara Higgins

      Moving to Missouri would have been a huge change for you during the winter! It’s funny, I’ve never even spent the holiday season in any warm part of the USA. Any family in those parts has always come back up north to celebrate it in the snow.

      December 26, 2016 at 6:21 PM