Kiwi yuletide greetings.

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Merry Christmas, Nga Mihi o te Kirihimete.

Thinking of our family and friends in North America today as they celebrate Christmas on this day, and wishing we could have all of our loved ones here with us.

With this being our third summer Christmas, I guess you could say we are kind of getting used to it.  The joined concepts of summer and Christmas still remain slightly odd, but we don’t hate it.  In New Zealand, Christmas is a time to set aside business and ‘get out amongst it all’- the beaches, the sunshine, the food- with the people that you love.   It’s simple and relaxed.  We find it quite fits our style.  In fact, we were thinking that we’ll carry on with this tradition once we make our return home to Canada… Ken and Fay, summer Christmas every August out at your place?

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Kiwi Christmases have a unique flavour of their own.  We thought there would be no better way to convey this flavour than through a few Kiwi Christmas songs.

The Christmas carol, Te Harinui, by Willow Macky (1957) depicts the setting of the Kiwi Christmas perfectly.

Not on a snowy night
By star or candlelight
Nor by an angel band
There came to our dear land

Te Harinui
Te Harinui
Te Hari-nu-i
Glad tid-ings of great joy

But on a summer day
Within a quiet bay
The Maori people heard
The great and glorious word

The people gathered round
Upon the grassy ground
And heard the preacher say
I bring to you this day

Now in this blessed land
United heart and hand We praise the glorious birth
And sing to all the earth

ChristmasGreetings1

I think it’s neat how the Christmas folk song “Christmas Begins With You” acknnowledges the fact that there are people on the other side of the world (such as yourselves) experiencing Christmas in a different to the way to how they are experiencing it themselves, yet acknowledging our connectedness through the event of Christmas.

Can you tell it’s summer? And do you feel the rain?
And have you heard that winter’s gone,
It’s Christmas time again?
Lights begin to fill the trees
Hustle everywhere
The only time for all mankind
To show we really care,
We really care…

Somewhere it’s not summer
It’s cold and grey with snow, That no-sun place with short dark days
It’s Christmas too, you know,
But the feeling’s just the same for them
And the wishing’s just as true
The love we have at Christmas time’s
The same for me and you, hmmmm.

Pohutukawa

The folk song, Kiwiana Christmas, depicts the humour and relaxed atmosphere of the NZ Christmas.   No Martha Stewart feast of perfection here… just a good, chilled out time.   The Kiwi slang in this one is good fun.

It’s a real New Zealand Christmas–

There’s no fire, no snow, no sleigh!

Everything has come to a grinding halt

and at last it’s Christmas Day

We’re wearing shorts and jandals,

singing songs of Christmas cheer

Mum’s organised the family lunch

and dad’ll be drinking Kiwi beer!

It’s just your typical, traditional

Kiwi Christmas Day

We’re celebrating Christmas

in the good old Kiwi way

With fresh-picked peas and new potatoes

and mint sauce for the lamb

And Grandma’s made the Xmas pud

and she’s glazed the Xmas ham!

The cards are on the mantlepiece,

the tinsel is on the tree,

The rellies have brought all their presents

and the Queen’s face is on TV

Mum’s made her own pavlova

with kiwifruit on the top

And there’s hokey-pokey icecream,

and the Chardon’s all set to pop!

It’s just your typical, traditional

Kiwi Christmas Day

Us kids are driving our parents daft –

we’ve been sent outside to play

Dad’s cracking another Steinie

and Mum’s at the kitchen sink

And Grandad’s fallen asleep in his chair

cos he’s had too much to drink!

It’s just your typical, traditional

Kiwi Xmas Day

You can forget the reindeer, ice and snow,

and Santa on his sleigh!

It’s fun to sit in the blazing sun,

enjoying a Kiwi beer

And here’s a toast to you and yours:

Merry Christmas, Happy New Year!!!

And finally, if you still don’t think you’ve grasped the vibe of what a Kiwi Christmas is all about, here’s a special treat!

We hope you enjoyed these bits of Kiwi Christmas cheer.  Sending love from our home to yours!!

Merry Christmas with much love, Meri Kirihimete me te aroha nui,

Merry Christmas from Mel & Breno

Brendon & Mel

 

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