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Christmas in Middle Earth

December 22, 2012

waiheke island

So, this is going to be my second Christmas now in the summer. And people often ask me “Mark, what is it like having Christmas in the summer?” and I respond with “What Christmas?”

It’s just not very Christmasy here. Not like Canada.

Don’t get me wrong, NZ tries (bless it’s heart).

For example, there is the demon Santa above Whitcoulls (book store like Chapters or Barnes and Nobles) on Queen Street (the main street downtown) here in Auckland.

Creepy. Apparently it use to wink.

I also remember last year on Christmas Day finding this hanging dead mouse.

dead mouse

Nothing spells Christmas cheer like a hanging dead mouse.

But when you grow up in Canada it is just hard to get into the Christmas season when you are surrounded by palm trees and summer heat.

Palm Trees Auckland

There is also the fact that the rampant commercialisation and constant Christmas music is pretty much non-existent.

One thing that is a plus is that the Presbyterian church gives its ministers some extra holiday time due to the Christmas season. I don’t actually get to use it during Christmas (which makes sense) but hey, I’ll take it.

And on the topic of holiday time, NZ is crazy amazing. It is mandated into law that everyone has a minimum of four weeks of holiday. Minimum.  Not “after twenty years of dedicated service” but “you’re the lowest piece of garbage on the totem poll, you get four weeks.” Not sure how the economics of that work, but again, I’ll take it.

There is one thing though that is clearly popular here. I’ve heard it several times on the radio, in Christmas parades, and in the stores. It’s the one sign I know for sure it’s Christmas here in NZ – besides working in a church – and that’s Mariah Carey’s “All I Want For Christmas Is You.”

Catchy tune.

Well, that’s it. I’ll probably have more to say over the next few days.  But till then, I will continue basking in this amazing summer heat 😀


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