Christmas in New Zealand is the complete opposite of traditional images of Christmas. Movies, books and Christmas cards nearly always show Christmas as cold and snowy, with people wrapped up in their warm clothes and gathered around a crackling fire. In New Zealand though, it’s warm and (if we’re lucky) sunny, with people in shorts, t-shirts and jandals.
One of my traditions that I start Christmas day with is getting up early to watch cartoons and What Now. If there’s nothing much on TV I bring out my old favourite videos, Red Boots for Christmas and The Santa Bears. When I was younger my family would go and have a picnic in Hagley Park for lunch where everyone would bring something different to share. These days my family brings lunch to my parents’ house.
Christmas can be a really expensive time of the year, so we decided a few years ago to just have a present exchange. You have to buy 1 present for 1 person and there is a limit to how much you can spend. You might get a serious present or something silly, and there’s not so much mess to clean up afterwards.
At night after we’re all full of turkey, ham, new potatoes, ambrosia and Christmas Pudding, we sit down and watch the Royal Variety Concert on TV.
What are your Christmas traditions?