www.whyville.net Dec 6, 2001 Weekly Issue

Christmas in July?!

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Christmas in July?!

Times Writer

Christmas... what thoughts enter your mind at the sound of Christmas?

Perhaps they are the obvious: Presents, Xmas trees, or even Santa Claus... Do you think of snow? Hot chocolate?

Well, imagine having a Christmas in July, because that's what it's like here in New Zealand on Christmas day! That's right, no snow! Just lots and lots of sun...

New Zealanders' usually spend their Christmas days at the beach, or having a big family 'barbie' (no, not the doll, a BBQ), because the weather outside's so nice and warm. A lot of families eat chicken, beef, pork and salads. Most families have Christmas lunch instead of a big dinner.

We still have all the outside decorations here, like fake snow (once I saw that melting on a house...), but decorating the outside of your home isn't usually such a big thing here. You'll see the lights on houses, but usually that's about all. There is one neighbourhood where all the houses are decorated beautifully, and practically the whole city turns up on Christmas Eve to see what it looks like. My family goes for the inside, indoor fountains that sing Christmas Carols, trees, Merry Christmas banners and things like that.

Another big thing here would have to be Christmas in the Park.. There's a huge firework display, celebrity acts, and a whole lot of singing! If it's a nice night, then the whole city turns up in the park. Along with Christmas in the Park, there's Carols by Candelight, when everyone spreads a blanket on the ground, lights their candles and they all sing Christmas songs together. They're both family events.

Christmas cookies have been popular here since I was little. On Christmas Eve a lot of people bake cookies... *cough*... my friends can understand why I don't bake them that much anymore. =o) Then the cookies are placed on a plate and put on their bedside table, and some people put out beer for Santa.

Basically we celebrate Christmas Day just like the rest of the world: we're with our families, we un-wrap presents, we decorate X-mas trees, we can get our photos taken with Santa in the Malls -- though we all feel sorry for the guy in the suit, especially that one year when the Mall's air conditioning stopped working, and it happened to be one of our hottest days of the year -- we put food out for Santa, we have big Lunches or Dinners. The only difference would have to be the weather...

Well, that's what Christmas in New Zealand's like. =o)

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