Christmas

Old Oct 15th 2006, 1:12 pm
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Default Christmas

Have'nt actually seen anyone mentioning christmas in NZ. We arrive mid November and will need to shop for pressies for the kids. Are toys in ready supplies? Do Newzealanders have selection boxes? Are shops already full with gift ideas, fancy biscuits etc. Can i buy xmas pudding? Yes i know im rambling but i love christmas and love buying all the bits and pieces that make the kids happy. Thanks carole
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Old Oct 15th 2006, 7:00 pm
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Default Re: Christmas

Originally Posted by Spacecake799
Have'nt actually seen anyone mentioning christmas in NZ. We arrive mid November and will need to shop for pressies for the kids. Are toys in ready supplies? Do Newzealanders have selection boxes? Are shops already full with gift ideas, fancy biscuits etc. Can i buy xmas pudding? Yes i know im rambling but i love christmas and love buying all the bits and pieces that make the kids happy. Thanks carole

Can only answer from a visitors point of view, if its any help. We were in Auckland this time last year and the night before we left we saw our one and only Christmas tree being put up in the window of Farmers in Queen Street. The only other thing we saw Christmassy was cards in the post office. Sorry I cant be of more help but I'm sure they'll be lots more to come.......
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Old Oct 15th 2006, 8:09 pm
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Default Re: Christmas

Originally Posted by Spacecake799
Have'nt actually seen anyone mentioning christmas in NZ. We arrive mid November and will need to shop for pressies for the kids. Are toys in ready supplies? Do Newzealanders have selection boxes? Are shops already full with gift ideas, fancy biscuits etc. Can i buy xmas pudding? Yes i know im rambling but i love christmas and love buying all the bits and pieces that make the kids happy. Thanks carole
Hi Carole,

Here in Wellington the advent calendars have been in the shops for about a month now. Shops are full of Xmas stuff, cards, decorations, toys, sweets etc. just like back home. In fact some shops now have their Xmas cards on sale. Most of the shops have Xmas clubs, so you can put stuff away. I haven't noticed Xmas pud, but haven't looked.
Stop worrying and look forward to a sunny Xmas.

Dee
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Old Oct 15th 2006, 9:41 pm
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Default Re: Christmas

They do have xmas pud here, I bought one last year and it's still in the cupboard unopened as we just were too stuffed to eat pud in the end.
I find xmas a bit disappointing here, and miss all the atmostphere and build up to the actual day.
Turkeys cost a small mortgage too so we just had a big chicken last year.
When we get moved onto our land Im going to grow our own turkeys
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Old Oct 15th 2006, 10:51 pm
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Default Re: Christmas

Originally Posted by sky
They do have xmas pud here, I bought one last year and it's still in the cupboard unopened as we just were too stuffed to eat pud in the end.
I find xmas a bit disappointing here, and miss all the atmostphere and build up to the actual day.
Turkeys cost a small mortgage too so we just had a big chicken last year.
When we get moved onto our land Im going to grow our own turkeys
Christmas is only one day long here...everybody is over it by boxing day and has this strange desire to go shopping???
I will be at work till 8.30pm on xmas eve and back again at 8.30am on boxing day. woohooo
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Old Oct 15th 2006, 11:15 pm
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Default Re: Christmas

Originally Posted by Spacecake799
Have'nt actually seen anyone mentioning christmas in NZ. We arrive mid November and will need to shop for pressies for the kids. Are toys in ready supplies? Do Newzealanders have selection boxes? Are shops already full with gift ideas, fancy biscuits etc. Can i buy xmas pudding? Yes i know im rambling but i love christmas and love buying all the bits and pieces that make the kids happy. Thanks carole
Hi Carole,

I sound like you, I too love Christmas, and it's the one thing I'm not sure I'll find easy to adjust to in NZ! Christmas just is about winter, getting dark early, the fairy lights twinkling in the afternoon, lighting the fire & candles, praying for snow etc etc!! How will I feel when it's Summer and warm and doesn't get dark on Christmas Eve til late?! But on a positive note, I may find I love it!! Am sure the dogs will prefer the mandotary Boxing Day walk in the sun, rather than sub-zero temperatures!!
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Old Oct 16th 2006, 12:11 am
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Default Re: Christmas

Originally Posted by Am Loolah
Hi Carole,

I sound like you, I too love Christmas, and it's the one thing I'm not sure I'll find easy to adjust to in NZ! Christmas just is about winter, getting dark early, the fairy lights twinkling in the afternoon, lighting the fire & candles, praying for snow etc etc!! How will I feel when it's Summer and warm and doesn't get dark on Christmas Eve til late?! But on a positive note, I may find I love it!! Am sure the dogs will prefer the mandotary Boxing Day walk in the sun, rather than sub-zero temperatures!!
If you move to the South Island, you may well get snow so don't worry.
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Old Oct 16th 2006, 6:40 am
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Default Re: Christmas

Originally Posted by Spacecake799
Have'nt actually seen anyone mentioning christmas in NZ. We arrive mid November and will need to shop for pressies for the kids. Are toys in ready supplies? Do Newzealanders have selection boxes? Are shops already full with gift ideas, fancy biscuits etc. Can i buy xmas pudding? Yes i know im rambling but i love christmas and love buying all the bits and pieces that make the kids happy. Thanks carole
All those things are readily available - same build up to Christmas - just all happens in the middle of summer! Something bizarre about Father Christmas on a motorised sled, ho-ho-ho'ing his way down the street in 80 degrees of heat! Tinsel looks really tacky in bright sunlight - and the light in NZ is very bright! TV adverts for Christmas specials for beach teeshirts, in front of a roaring open fire with Christmas stockings hanging from the mantlepiece with holly etc.

There are still kiwi families who will do the whole roast turkey with all the trimmings thing - have to say, I refused point blank in the face of summer heat. Most break out the barbecue - seafood is popular - but Christmas trees, false and real, are in most homes - in Wellington there are suburbs which compete to create amazing fairylight displays on houses and gardens.

Christmas here is different... like many things in NZ, familiar... but different.

Although pine trees are used as Christmas trees indoors, the "New Zealand Christmas Tree" is the pohutakawa - a fairly nondescript tree for most of the year which, in the weeks before Christmas, breaks out into the most amazing display of red flowers - very much a kiwi symbol of Christmas - as is asparagus, black cherries, strawberries, lobster - known as crayfish here - oriental lilies which, for me, are the smell of Christmas in New Zealand - I arrived in Wellington on December 4th.
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Old Oct 16th 2006, 10:02 am
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Default Re: Christmas

Originally Posted by cottageinthesky
Although pine trees are used as Christmas trees indoors, the "New Zealand Christmas Tree" is the pohutakawa - a fairly nondescript tree for most of the year which, in the weeks before Christmas, breaks out into the most amazing display of red flowers - very much a kiwi symbol of Christmas - as is asparagus, black cherries, strawberries, lobster - known as crayfish here - oriental lilies which, for me, are the smell of Christmas in New Zealand - I arrived in Wellington on December 4th.
We live on the "Pohutukawa Coast"... local kiwis tell me that if they flower before christmas it will be a good summer.... if after christmas then not so good. We have our own Pohutukawa in our garden now but somebody has hacked the top of it right out so that it doesnt block the sea view....poor thing.

The only christmassy things we did last year was send a few cards back to the UK.. buy our son a few presents. Put up a tacky plastic christmas tree and one set of lights and bought a massive cooked ham from the local butcher. It was our first christmas here and it all seemed a bit unreal... still had Culture Shock then.
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Old Oct 16th 2006, 11:44 am
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Default Re: Christmas

Shop in Hamilton today, selling nothing but fake trees, fairy lights, ribbons, tinsel...Also had a big Santa Doll out front singing Christmas songs and rocking his hips!! Came as a shock to me, I'd forgotten what month it was!! There's also the 'Traditional Christmas Shop' on the main drag here, don't know if it's open all year, but it certainly looks permanent.
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Old Oct 17th 2006, 7:32 am
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It snowed all day on my last Christmas Day in Ireland. It's a Wonderful Life was on at some ungodly hour in the morning and I had everyone up to watch it - with the fire lighting - and then the snow started to fall. Absolute magic. It was the first Christmas in ages that I actually enjoyed and in comparison to last year - well.... no comparison. I can't get into it here at all - I wondered why there was Christmas stuff in the Warehouse last week I don't actually mind that it only lasts one day but we did the full roast thing with the inlaws last year and I really don't want to do that again! Anyone got any ideas on how to get out of Christmas Day with the mother in law????
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Old Oct 17th 2006, 10:34 am
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Default Re: Christmas

Christmas Day in the Southern Hemisphere is just different, I don't think it is all bad though!
It is nice to get all the bank holidays in summer so that you can enjoy the outside life, swimming, beach etc. A picnic somewhere pretty on Boxing Day, long summer evenings with a G&T, trying out the new bicycles and skateboards at the local park.
If you are missing friends and family back in the UK why not start your own traditions, free from the stress and tribulations of many a Christmas with the relatives. This is your chance to find something special for your kids that isn't all about the material presents and the family feud.
The Christmas lights don't make sense, nor do the fake snow or robins, but the Pohutukawa is stunning. Why not head out to find some proper NZ bush, or go fishing for pipi and mussels, or go as a family for a walk on a volcano.

Sure it isn't the same - but it is still good.
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Old Oct 17th 2006, 8:40 pm
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Default Re: Christmas

Originally Posted by Apple12
Christmas Day in the Southern Hemisphere is just different, I don't think it is all bad though!
It is nice to get all the bank holidays in summer so that you can enjoy the outside life, swimming, beach etc. A picnic somewhere pretty on Boxing Day, long summer evenings with a G&T, trying out the new bicycles and skateboards at the local park.
If you are missing friends and family back in the UK why not start your own traditions, free from the stress and tribulations of many a Christmas with the relatives. This is your chance to find something special for your kids that isn't all about the material presents and the family feud.
The Christmas lights don't make sense, nor do the fake snow or robins, but the Pohutukawa is stunning. Why not head out to find some proper NZ bush, or go fishing for pipi and mussels, or go as a family for a walk on a volcano.

Sure it isn't the same - but it is still good.
Were you listening to hubby and I talking about this last nite?! We came up with the exact same thing. It'll be a time to start new traditions for Summer Christmases!! The more I think about it now, the more positive I feel about it. Embracing a totally new style Christmas. And totally with cottageinthesky, bugger slaving over a roast with all the trimmings!! Although I love doing it here, I shall find a different style Christmas dinner that hopefully we shall love as much. The kids would be happy with chocolate, crisps, ice cream and the occassionally glass of something fizzy - much like me!! Way less effort and preparation time, thus freeing up more time to relax and enjoy the sun (I bloody hope!)
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Old Oct 17th 2006, 9:34 pm
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Default Re: Christmas

thought I read somewhere that they have another christmas day in june - am I imagining this or does it really happen?
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Old Oct 17th 2006, 9:38 pm
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Default Re: Christmas

Originally Posted by mutleypig
thought I read somewhere that they have another christmas day in june - am I imagining this or does it really happen?
Often there is a "midwinter Christmas" party in June, just another excuse for a party! The shops aren't involved, it doesn't supplant Dec 25th in any way shape or form, but it is a very good excuse for mulled wine
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