Six years already in Australia and there are two things I’ve yet to get used to, and probably never will: that my birthday in July is celebrated in winter and Christmas is celebrated with a swimming costume and thongs.

It’s like telling me that the sun rises from the west and sets in the east. That’s how topsy turvy it seems to me… My grandmother, a wise woman, said «Γέρικο άλογο καινούργια περπατησιά δε βάνει» (‘An old horse doesn’t have a new step’), that translates to ‘You can’t teach an old dog new tricks’, and how right she was.

My first Christmas here found us in picturesque Renmark, South Australia, in 45-degree heat! When it heats up here you can literally fry an egg on the sidewalk, without exaggeration.

But that’s not the worse. The greatest challenge was trying to find a believable excuse to explain my little one’s query as to why Santa Claus comes to Australia over Christmas and not New Year’s Eve as in Greece. Meanwhile, I had to deal with the whining as to why we can’t build a snow man and answer questions, such as: “What if Santa goes to our house in Greece and doesn’t find us?” Simultaneously, I had to ensure that my eldest contained herself from bursting at the seams to yell out right in the middle one’s face: “Santa Claus DOES NOT EXIST!”

READ MORE: A merry, sunny Christmas

The day was saved by an invitation extended to us by our good friends who invited us to visit them for Christmas. The desirable gifts put an end to the Santa debacle in a positive way, and diving in the pool helped sell the new concept of different weather during the season and amazing people helped fill the gap of family.

Christmas 2014, our first Christmas in Australia, proved that home, celebrations, and – why not, Santa Claus, are anywhere you can find love, as are our people regardless of weather, continent and distance.