Christmas for us this year will be the usual 20-minute ferry trip across the azure waters from Townsville to nearby Magnetic Island (known locally as “Maggie”), while being entertained by frolicking dolphins. On arrival we will head straight to Alma Bay, blessed with its golden sands, Dom Perignon-clear waters and vibrant coral reef. My wife and I, however, still cling to the nostalgic concept of Christmas bedecked with snow, a thundering fireplace, allergenic mistletoes, an inviting bowl of punch, and a real Christmas tree bought as a last-minute bargain in the Arctic cold of Newcastle upon Tyne.
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