A Kiwi Christmas

25 Dec

When you’re travelling, it’s hard to feel Christmassy.  Snowy holly leaves painted on a communal, campsite, kitchen window and a packet of mince pies from the supermarket don’t really cut the mustard on the festive front.

So it was lovely to finally arrive at our friends’ house by the seaside on the 23rd and start on Christmas in earnest.  We did the traditional last minute dash round the supermarket, added our decorations to the tree, made mince pies and wrapped presents.  The fact that it was all performed in chilly drizzle, only served to remind me of childhood Christmasses in London.

Late on Christmas Eve, the sun came out, just in time for the traditional Opunake Christmas parade.  Down the little high street passed bagpipers, huge tractors, members of the local WI in Victorian dress, lifeguards, a Philippino nativity, more tractors and a Father Christmas.  All of whom threw sweets, causing nasty scuffles between the younger residents of the town.  Meanwhile, the nightly milk trucks trundled along the parallel street, the same as every day.  Cows still need milking at Christmas.

We’d visited Father Christmas in Auckland, so he knew we were staying in Opunake.  The children’s $2 shop stockings were remarkably full of Kiwi souvenirs and sweets.  He also gave us a huge paddling pool, that took some time to blow up, turns out a hairdryer is much faster than a footpump.

Then, because we’re in the Southern Hemisphere, and it’s summer, I made Steve go for a swim in the sea.  Well one of us had to, and I got some good photos.  He’s currently in bed nursing a cold, but like I said, I got some good photos.

After a game of cricket on the lawn, we had the traditional full roast lunch followed by pavlova decorated with kiwi fruit, obviously.

We’d tried to go to church in the morning, but bizarrely, they don’t have services on Christmas day due to lack of interest.  If there’s no interest on Christmas day, when is there?  Reassuringly though, we did see the Queen’s speech.  New Zealand is proud to be the first country to get it and we saw it when everyone in England was telling their children that it’s still too early to get up.

So, Kiwi Christmas, strangely like an English Christmas, but not.  You can eat mince pies and watch the Vicar of Dibley, but you can also play swingball without getting frostbite.  As they’d say here, it’s sweet as.


7 Responses to “A Kiwi Christmas”

  1. Modern Dilemma 25/12/2010 at 9:48 pm #

    Merry Christmas Gorgeous Travelling Wallops!

    Love all the way to Kiwi Land from The Shire

    MD xx

  2. andthenallithoughtaboutwasyou 26/12/2010 at 9:54 pm #

    Merry Christmas it sounds like a lovely day xxx

  3. Claire 27/12/2010 at 9:30 am #

    hahaha sweet as indeed.

    Thanks for sharing!

  4. Paula 27/12/2010 at 8:46 pm #

    Dear GOD!!! What is THAT in your flickr stream?! I’m extraordinarily disturbed! Merry Christmas Wallop xxx

    • itsasmallworldafterallfamily 28/12/2010 at 9:06 pm #

      It’s art, you philistine.

  5. Muddling Along 28/12/2010 at 10:24 am #

    Happy Christmas! Glad you had a fun time, can’t wait to keep following you through 2011


  1. Tradition « It's a small world after all - 16/12/2011

    […] we were meeting penguins and flying in helicopters.  Both amazing, but not especially festive.  Christmas Day itself, was spent with kind and lovely friends; we ate turkey and pavlova, played in our new […]

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