Monday, May 20Royal Holloway's offical student publication, est. 1986

A Hot Christmas

Beth  Gooding shares what it is like to have a hot Christmas.

The time is finally here, the run up to Christmas has begun. We will now spend the next few weeks hoping and praying for snow on Christmas Day to bring that extra bit of magic to our holiday. Whether it snows or not, we will spend the entire day moaning how cold we are and probably doing anything to avoid going outside. The day will likely  consist of many Christmas movies being shown on TV, maybe even watching the Queen’s Speech, filling our stomachs with endless pigs in blankets and numerous other foods whilst huddled in pyjamas or jumpers for the day.
But would we ever swap this freezing British Christmas day for one in the Philippines where the temperature can reach 30 degrees? Or maybe Dubai where it is on average 21 degrees? My housemates spend their Christmas’s in these tropical conditions… So maybe it’s time for us to give it a go too?!

Celebrations in the Philippines begin just as early as in the UK, sometimes even earlier, with Christmas decorations appearing in shopping malls as early as September or October. My housemate, Rachelle, who grew up in the Philippines spends her Christmas traditionally – going to midnight mass on Christmas Eve and returning home to a huge family celebration, to open their presents before eating a big feast known as Noche Buena which often features a roasted pig as the centre piece. Christmas Day is then a slower day, waking up late and spending it once again with family as the main celebrations have taken place on Christmas Eve.

Princess’s (my other housemate) Christmas is often less traditional, waking to a Christmas brunch on the day and continuing with family parties throughout. She rarely spends Christmas inside watching Christmas movies and playing games, why would she when she could throw on a bikini and spend the day at the beach? Turkey may feature in her Christmas meal but it is not the typical Christmas dinner cooked by  Mum every year, she usually goes out for a huge buffet of international cuisines! Two years ago she spent her whole Christmas Day on the beach, sunbathing and playing games with her family and the day ended in a huge firework display.
Of course they still get presents, have Christmas trees, Father Christmas and the odd turkey just like we do in England, it’s just 20 degrees or so warmer!

So how would you like to swap your pyjamas for a bikini and the sofa for a sunbed? I’m not sure it would feel like Christmas to me but it should be experienced at least once in our lives!

Maybe next year replace your white-snowy Christmas with a white-sand Christmas.