One of the great things about Christmas in New Zealand is that there are so many different ways to celebrate it. Unlike places such as the UK, the weather doesn’t constrict us to being inside with a hot roast dinner. We have so many different options. Some people have bbqs, some go to the beach and some have a traditional sit down meal. I love hearing about how other people celebrate Christmas and so todays post is about how I spend my Christmas.
I consider Christmas Eve a huge part of my Christmas celebration. Since I grew up in Kapiti from age 10 but now live in Welington City, I use Christmas Eve as an opportunity to see all my friends who have returned home (or still live there) for Christmas. One of the MAJOR traditions of my generation in Kapiti is visiting a pub once known as The Hummer. It is by far the busiest night of the year and it goes off. It is such a great opportunity to see friends who I haven’t seen in a while and because it is such a traditional thing, you often run into people you didn’t even plan to see. The problem with it is that it is SO packed and you often wait 20 minutes in line for a drink only to get bumped and spill half of it down you on the way back to your table. It also often results in a nasty hangover on Christmas Day (not ideal). I am unsure if I’ll partake in this ritual this year (my age is obviously catching up on me), but it has been a part of my Christmas for many years.
Because I come from a broken home (such a dumb saying), I do have a very busy day trying to fit everyone in. Christmas Eve night is spent at Mums house in Kapiti and I wake up there and open presents with her, my dog (Cody), cat (Rusty) and my brother depending on if he’s been able to make it up from Christchurch. We have a cheeky glass of Champagne (with a strawberry in it) while opening presents then at about 10 it’s time to leave for my Nana and Grandads (Dad’s Side) in Lower Hutt.
I have spent Christmas Lunch at my Grandparents for most of my Christmas’s and it is probably my favourite part of Christmas Day. All my Auntys, Uncles and Cousins are there (Although a few of my Cousins children join us late due to custody issues). Before the world got all Politically Correct on us, Santa would drive on his float past my Grandparents house and throw lollies out at all the children standing on the side walk. Some of my cousins went through a phaze of throwing the lollies back at him. It is probably one of my favourite Christmas memories. Of course now you can’t throw lollies off floats. He still visits but it’s not quite the same.
When I was younger, everyone bought presents for everyone. Now that the cousins are a little bit older it’s normally just scratchies (no-one has won anything big yet), and toys for the younger ones. The idea of a secret santa has been thrown around a few times but has never amounted to anything. Christmas Lunch at Nana and Grandads consists of ham, turkey, new season potatoes, salads, after dinner mints, wafers, and two pavs (one with chocolate chips on top and one with strawberries), among other things. Because I am driving I can’t drink as much as everyone else in my family does but Nana always makes sure there’s plenty of Sparkling Grape Juice for me – the white flavour of course.
At around 2pm I head back to Mums. Since Mum doesn’t have much family on her side, she will often host some of her less fortunate friends for Christmas Dinner. This year is a bit different and we will be heading around to my second cousins (Mums cousin), for Christmas afternoon. I am really excited at the idea of this because I do feel bad for Mum being all alone on Christmas Day while I’m with Dads side of the family so I am glad that she will be spending it with her cousin. My Mum also goes so intense on Christmas Dinner (although I’m often too full from lunch to make the most of it). This year there will be more turkey and ham, salad stuff, but the dessert is everything. Mum makes the BEST home made pavs, trifle and chocolate eclairs. I’m sure I’ve missed something out there too.
The best part about getting back to Kapiti is that it is the end of my travel for the day and I can finally have a glass of wine with my Mum and enjoy the rest of the day. My brother is also making it up this year and even though he drives me insane, it’ll be nice to see him.
Now that I’ve rambled through what my Christmas involves, leave me a comment below and tell me all about yours! What are you most looking forward to?
If I don’t get the chance to post again before Christmas (which is very likely), have a good one and keep safe!