The Kiwis live it up for Christmas–most professional offices are closed for 2-3 weeks, kids are on school holiday, and everyone gets out their trusty trailers, packs their tents, and goes a-camping. This year was the first time we were at home for Christmas day, NOT backpacking or camping, making a traditional Christmas breakfast a bit easier to pull off. We ate fruit salad, cinnamon roll, egg bake, and bacon (instead of sausages), and sang Happy Birthday to Jesus.
“On guard!” I am about to be shot at or turned into a princess, or both. Jeremiah got the kids a pair of nerf guns, but Milo lost his within hours (that’s what happens when you shoot your sister’s face), and I found myself ranting “THIS is why my parents never let us have toy GUNS!” as I shoved the offending weapon onto a high shelf and glared at my husband. They really do love those things….
A princess at the beach!
The beach was pretty quiet when we arrived, as it was overcast and a bit chill, but the novelty of going to the beach on Christmas day is still worth it for us. Sand + Water = Kid Happiness. Us parents sipped our coffees with Baileys and avoided the incoming tide.
Who is prouder of the bridge creation, Milo or Mark? We enjoyed Christmas dinner with our friends Mark, Steph and Irmana. We are holidaying (is that really a verb?) with this crew for the coming week, but we were all in Christchurch for Christmas day, and Steph proposed a joint meal. Good thing she did! With my level of Christmas cheer I would probably have had the family eating scrambled eggs and going to bed early.
Every year I think Jeremiah can’t fit another thing into the car, but every year we manage to bring more paraphernalia with us at Christmas. This year he had a roof box, a bigger car, and a bike rack, and we’re still chocker. Poor Naomi threw up in that green bucket three times on the way up to Nelson, and though we’ve got barfing-on-windy-no-stopping-place roads down to a science, we still soiled the princess dress.
With a 5:30 departure from Christchurch we made it up to Nelson before lunch the day after Christmas, where we stayed with our friends Audrey, Noah, Laura and Jordy in their beautiful new house. Romi, the kids’ grandma, was there for the holiday, reminding me in many ways of Mommom ten years ago; eager to impart the wisdom of the generations but also understanding of the kid zone. I liked her.
Two late nights and two early mornings set us up perfectly for sleepage during the second day of windy-road driving, and we arrived in Anakiwa rested, with all the stomach contents in place, packed to the hilt with groceries.
Kelsey once gave me a pin-on button that read “I like poetry, long walks on the beach, and poking dead things with a stick.” It’s true. On our first walk out from the Anakiwa bach we found this dead sting ray. I was more interested in it than Milo (did you know they have one large long bottom tooth??), but he was keen to get the rest of the crew to see it.
The bach we’re staying in for the upcoming week has grapes growing over the deck railing and overlooks one of the Marlborough sounds. I think we’ll like it here.
It does indeed look like Christmas has come to New Zealand!
May you have a wonderful holiday & an adventure filled New Year!
Angie & Eleanor
I do miss a southern hemisphere Christmas. I look out the window now and see the grey skies with a flurry of snow falling and can’t help but think it would be nice to be in shorts and at the beach (especially when my relatives in South Africa keep posting picture of them in shorts at the beach). Yet, there is something to be said for snow at Christmas . . . I guess there is something to be said for both. Happy Christmas and may the Lord bless you in the new year.