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If you live in the Northern Hemisphere, chances are you were wearing a coat, hat and gloves if you went outside today. If you are enjoying the heated indoors at present, that's great! But you have to admit it’s a little chilly, right? 

I don’t mean to tease, but the residents of the Southern Hemisphere, including Australia where I grew up, are walking around in t-shirts and flip flops, eating popsicles and drinking ice-cold lemonade. Some of them are at the beach, swimming, snorkeling, kayaking. No they’re not crazy -- it’s summer Down Under! Can you even fathom that?? So they’re out getting suntans while we are bundled up from head to toe.

Growing up, summer in January was totally ordinary. If anything, I thought that Northern Hemisphere folks were the backwards ones! I didn’t think twice about the holiday season taking place over long hot summer days. Families spend this time outdoors, at the beach, enjoying barbecues and other hot weather activities. What’s not to love? But then one day I moved to the USA and learned how it’s "meant" to be done. The holiday season is supposed to be spent around the fireplace, with blankets and s’mores, cozy story time and holiday lights peeking through the snowy landscape. Gift shopping in the frigid weather is part of the fun -- what would it be without layers and scarves and hats and puffer jackets?

Down Under, summer vacation is coming to an end, and the new school year is starting. That’s the part that actually makes sense over there. The school year coincides with the calendar year! I guess we Americans can’t have everything. If we want Thanksgiving in the cold then we can’t have summer holidays in December.

There is certainly something about significant days and special occasions that become inexplicably connected to the seasons. Maybe those blokes in Australia do have it backwards- or maybe it’s just a matter of what we each get accustomed to, which then naturally creates its own meaning.

With that said, I still think I’d prefer to be out by the pool getting a tan right about now. Those Aussies do seem a lot luckier this time of year.