Christmas in New Zealand – Nick sensei
Christmas is an important time for most people in New Zealand. For everyone, it is a chance to take a week or two off from their job to spend time with their family and friends. For Christian people in New Zealand, Christmas also has great religious significance.
The weeks leading up to Christmas are always very busy as everyone finishes work and school.
Most companies hold Christmas parties, and schools hold end of year shows and prizegivings. People also go crazy doing their Christmas shopping!
After the madness, Christmas day itself is relaxed. All businesses are shut. Christian people might wake up early to go to church services, for others it is a chance to sleep in. Young children wake up early full of excitement to see what Santa has given them.
My family always has a huge Christmas lunch in the early afternoon - because the weather is so hot we have mainly cold food like salads and cold roast meat, but there is always a giant roast of lamb and a Christmas ham.
For dessert there is usually Christmas pudding, trifle, ice cream, and pavlova (a kiwi desert made from lots of eggs and sugar!). We drink wine and beer. We usually give each other our Christmas presents during this lunch.
After lunch, people often take a walk to the beach or a park, where kids can try out their new toys. Lazy people (like me) have some more drinks and sleep off the food! Christmas evening is usually very quiet as people relax with their families and friends.
After Christmas, many people have holidays until the second week of January. The cities empty out as people head to holiday spots in the country with their friends and family.
For young people, New Years Eve is the most important party night of the year - people plan trips with their friends or arrange to meet at parties or concerts.