I had a long conversation on the phone with Allen today. Remember Allen? He was the friend who accompanied me to Patagonia to spend the months of winter in a rather remote place. He’s feeling a bit nostalgic for the winter solstice we observed down there last June. He had found some discarded wooden pallets in the storage facility and broke them down to make a fire. It was quite a fire — and we used the leftover wood for a fire on July Fourth.
Our winter solstice bonfire got us in a rather festive mood. But, this is the southern hemisphere — and it’s June — so Christmas won’t immediately follow.
Now Allen is wishing we had thought to bring some simple Christmas decorations. We have Christmas weather. We have Christmas darkness. And we’re eating winter goodies washed down with rum-spiked cocoa. Might as well make the place look Christmassy.
So, we took sheets of notepaper, screwed them up into little balls, and threaded then onto string to hang from the ceiling. We also cut out snowflakes to decorate the windows. Martha Stewart would have been proud. And then when it got dark, we broke out a couple of emergency candles.
Allen is now wondering about Halloween. I reminded him we may well have left here by then. But he wonders how that goes down under. It has always been a big deal in his family, and he enjoys decorating his house, including making several jack-o-lanterns for the porch. But if Halloween happens in spring, where does one get a pumpkin?
It’s a good question. I suppose you can always buy a plastic one. Folks down under are probably well accustomed to making concessions in order to celebrate holidays aligned with the northern hemisphere. Perhaps Starbucks customers in Australia and New Zealand are served pumpkin spice lattes in spring.
Not that it really makes any difference to us. Or Alene. In Seattle, people are ordering iced coffee drinks and smoothies — but Alene still wants an Americano steaming hot!