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Posts Tagged ‘Christmas in New Zealand’

… because my brain isn’t really working this week.

  1. We just had a lovely weekend with my sister and Charlie visiting (so there’s another What Charlie Taught Me post coming soon.)
  2. Something I heard recently that’s worth remembering at this time of year  – “Greed used to be embarrassing, but now it is celebrated.”
  3. 57% of New Zealanders (and I’m one of them) say that Christmas has no religious significance for them whatsoever.
  4. But as an end-of-year celebration, an opportunity to formally get together with family or friends, and a celebration of summer, I still enjoy it.
  5. Plus, my Christmas tree is pretty.
  6. I had my own card printed again this year, complete with original pohutukawa photo, but I have sent (and will send) a shockingly small number of cards this year.
  7. So if you don’t get a card from me, it’s nothing personal. Here’s my greeting for you all this season …

P1080075 pohutu merry sm

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There is a tyranny in this season (and not only for non-Christians in predominantly Christian societies). It’s a northern tyranny, an imperial imposition, and we in the south struggle to throw off this yoke of oppression.

I grew up thinking that Christmas/New Year cards had to have snow on them, and that carols naturally talked about chestnuts roasting on an open fire, or snowmen, or sleighs. It was strange, because it completely negated our experiences – that of the joyful end of school for the year, the beginning of summer and  holidays by the beach or lakes, the arrival of the summer fruits (berries, cherries, peaches and apricots), barbecues and swimming and long days filled with light.

Santas in New Zealand (and worse in Australia, South Africa and South America I am sure) suffer wearing Arctic garb in summer heat, and many people (including me last year, thanks to a gift) labour over a hot stove cooking turkey and roast vegetables, when really it is the weather for cold dishes and lots of salads (though we have those too). Here in the south, we are adjusting our traditions away from those of our northern forefathers (thankfully), though immigration from the north means these biases are continually reinforced.

But it’s a global economy too here in the 21st century, and down here in New Zealand we suffer from this international conspiracy. Just occasionally, it’d be nice if businesses or commentators in the north would acknowledge those of us in the south, and provide Christmas/New Year themes or commentaries that aren’t dominated by snowflakes, turkeys and plum puddings, and dark cold nights, but reflect our reality. So this year, I made my own cards.

My Christmas Dessert

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