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A Typical New Zealand Christmas (2009 and 2010)

Hi Everyone (Xmas 2009)

Well it's 8:30 PM on Christmas day so I thought you'd like to hear what a typical Christmas is like over here.

Yesterday we started the festivities off with a 'traditional English Tea' - yes I KNOW it's not NZ traditional but humour us! When we emigrated three years ago we made a little rule for ourselves - we were not going to do 'duty' on Christmas day. So Christmas Eve is our day for entertaining the friends and rellies.

One person who was not about was our son Tom - he was off scuba diving in the Bay of Islands. Another rule - we don't expect our children to do 'duty' either if they have a better offer…..

Tradition would say do a barbecue - but that's what we'd done the weekend before for the Dive Club, so Christmas Eve was mince pies and cucumber sandwiches. And best of all - a high moved right over Auckland, bringing beautiful weather.

Christmas Day saw us up late at 9:30. I phoned my eldest son Jeff, who was still in the UK.

Like everywhere else in the world, Christmas here is for kids and family. Families with small children are still up at the crack of dawn opening pressies from St Nick. Most people stay at home,or visit family. All businesses and shops except the corner grocers and the most touristy of places are closed.

Following the traditional swopping of presents, Hubby decided that Brunch was in order, and of course it had to be cooked on the barbecue. We were out there with the neighbours over the road, who also had the barbie out.

Then we did some packing.

Why packing? Well another Christmas tradition is that everyone goes away on Boxing Day! And we'd decided to go to the East Coast for a few days. And the earlier you start the better…..

Traditional Christmas fare over here is a ham - the larger the better. It's the equivalent of turkey in the UK. We had duck.

I prepared the duck for dinner so that we could cook it that evening. A bit off-putting was the ducks head and feet attached - we have a large Asian community here, and the head and feet are a delicacy. I cut them off, but it was a bit disconcerting having the duck looking at you while you decapitated it :)

Then we took the sports car out for a drive, with the intention of a walk along Maraetai Beach. We commented on the traffic - it was much more than we anticipated. And we discovered the reason when we got to the beach - it was crowded! There were tents, awnings, barbecues, canoes, jetskis. And of course people! So a tradition in NZ is to go to the beach on Christmas Day!

We ended up at Omana Regional Park. Every barbecue was occupied with groups. Barbecues are definitely traditional…..

Then home, via the cousins place where the rest of the rellies were gathered. Cousin Dee was looking frazzled - I'm glad we have given up 'duty' :)

Back home to put the duck on, then a dip in the spa pool. Then dinner.

I'm currently sitting in our lounge watching 'Hogfather' by Terry Pratchett, and the most stunning sunset over Mount Wellington and Sky Tower.

And now it's time to phone the UK and speak to my mother…

Merry Christmas!

Christmas 2010

At the Cowshed, 20 of us for dinner and diving for most of the family on Boxing Day

Northland Dive

Russell

Feeding the Eels

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living_in_new_zealand/christmas.txt · Last modified: 2012/04/07 20:53 by art
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