This year, we made an impassioned plea for people to tell us what they celebrated, and how they celebrated, somewhere outside the temperate zone of the Northern Hemisphere. The response has been gratifying. Rod tells us about…
Christmas in Kiwiland
This researcher isn't really the one to comment as he hasn't been here so very long – and anyway doesn't have the spirit of Christmas past and very probably not the future ones either. He does, however enjoy spirits as Christmas presents.
As ever, I raised another eyebrow when retailers reminded me that the (or at least a) big event of (or at least in) the year was imminent. Reminded me a little earlier in the month this year – October it was, again. Pretty soon it'll be midwinter when they start...
Anyway, enough with the cold hard truth and the levity, let's take a quick look at the festivities:
As far as I can make out, Christmas in this area (Canterbury Region, middle-east of the South Island) is pretty well representative of New Zealand as a whole – quite strongly British in attitude – English or, in the south, Scottish (Dunedin, Invercargill) Irish too, all over – and those Welsh get everywhere.
Fairy lights in windows, trees trimmed and lit, the occasional Santa and sleigh.
Indoors, decorated trees, piles of brightly wrapped presents and the occasional bottle not hidden away quite quickly enough.
Many people hold Open House – call in, say hello, maybe bring a dish or BYOB (bring your own bottle), it's the polite thing. Parties are held – where BYO is standard.
The major difference is, of course the season, the weather. It's (usually) warm and the evenings are long – not as long as most of UK in summer, but light late (until maybe 9pm) in comparison, at this time of year.
Quite British oriented – very in places, at times. Surprisingly so, I'm still finding, even with its (nay, our) multinational, all-inclusive populace (mostly. very mostly). And, despite its British-ishness, it's a good place to be, Yuletide or no.
A Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to you all.