Christmas in New Zealand is the typical Christmas depicted in movies. There is no snow (unless you go up to Mt Cook), there is no cozying up by the fireplace, no hot cocoa, glove or hats. It’s not cold here! We celebrate Christmas in summer which means the typical Kiwi Christmas goes a little something like this….
Christmas on the Beach is one of those Kiwi Christmas songs we used to sing in school when I was a kid. All I can ever remember are the words of the chorus which sum up what Christmas is like here in New Zealand.
“Christmas on the beach, Christmas on the beach. Pack your picnic hamper up we’re gonna have a feast! Underneath the huge Pohutakawa Tree. Christmas on the beach.”
Twas the night before Christmas…
The Christmas celebrations begin on Christmas Eve. Normally I’ll help my mum do some baking for the next day and then at night after dinner we will all gather and watch a movie together in the lounge. Last year we all ended up watching the Sol3 Mio Christmas concert together! In the past, we used to sing Christmas Carols with friends before going out to hunt for Christmas lights.
Christmas morning starts off with the compulsory opening of the presents. We are allowed to look in our stockings whenever we wake up. all wrapped presents have to wait to be opened until all the family is together in the lounge. Mum or Dad will normally chuck on a few of our Christmas CD’s while we open the presents and then have a sort of breakfast together. Then we will normally head off to church for the Christmas Day celebration service and then head home to get ready for the family lunch.
My family Christmas…
For my family, Christmas Day is celebrated by getting all the extended family together for a big shared lunch at one of the family members houses. Eating a heap of food is pretty much compulsory, and catching up with the family is a must. Although we don’t quite make it to the beach ourselves, we tend to sit outside in the garden and just enjoy the sunshine.
Then later after lunch in finished and the day is started to wane, we head inside to relax more in the lounge room. As our extended family gatherings are quite large we do a Christmas draw so that you buy a present from “the Family” for one person or couple. I can’t quite remember if we open presents before or after lunch but as there are still a few younglings around I think it happens before the food.
How do you celebrate Christmas?