Though this photo was taken one year in June, I can’t help but look at it and think “Christmas.” Something about the sparseness of it—the bare landscape, but also the radiance of the sun as it reflects off the white surface.
And yet for people in the Southern Hemisphere, an image like this doesn’t suggest Christmas at all. There, in December, the faithful find themselves in the throes of summer, observing Jesus’ birth during the warmest and longest days of the year. Instead of bundling up by a fire, much of the Southern Hemisphere spends time outdoors. Bondi Beach in Sydney, Australia, hosts up to 40,000 people each year, celebrating the festivities on Christmas day. People decorate their homes with colorful blooming flowers, marking Christ’s birth with life and vibrancy. They swim, go surfing, and barbecue.
While all believers recognize the reason for the season, I find it wonderful to consider how we find beauty and significance in different climates and circumstances as we celebrate the One who made us and our continents as an act of love. This is the significance of the Christmas holiday—that Jesus’ birth was for all of us, each and every one.