The Christmas celebration is now over for this year, and this time we got to celebrate it in New Zealand. This was the first Christmas for us that we have spent in the southern hemisphere. A Christmas in the middle of the summer is a quite confusing experience for us as we are used to snow and coldness, or at least coldness. Last year we spent the Christmas in South Korea where the conditions were wintery as well.
Even though Christmas is a midsummer party in New Zealand, the people celebrate it partly in the same way as in Europe. The families gather together and the shops are full of Christmas decorations and chocolate. On Boxing day, all the shops are open and the folks go shopping like crazy as the sales begin.
Anyhow, instead of warming up at a fireplace, the people in New Zealand celebrate Christmas outside enjoying the summer. Normally the people have a party in their own yard or on the beach, and that’s what we did as well. During the Christmas days, all the beaches get full of happy people with grills and tents.
Even though we are not that crazy about Christmas, we try to keep up at least some Finnish Christmas traditions when we are abroad. We started our Christmas Eve by eating homemade gingerbread and our own version of Finnish rice porridge (Indian rice doesn’t work the same way as the rice we use in Finland). We also made Finnish coffee that we got as a Christmas present. What a luxury compared to our regular instant coffee! In the evening, we went to see the sunset at Mount Eden, one of the many volcanos in Auckland.
On Christmas Day, we went to spend time at our friend’s place who lives outside the city center of Auckland. We spent the day doing barbeque in the backyard, chilling on the beach and drinking cold beer with a small group of friends. Besides sausages, we also warmed up some Finnish carrot casserole on the grill that we had prepared for the Christmas. That was the first time for us to cook Christmas food on the grill but oh well, why not. We also haven’t worn Christmas hats on the beach before or sweated while baking gingerbread.
Overall, our Christmas here in Auckland was very laid-back and relaxing. Now the New Year is right around the corner as well! We have a couple of days off from work at the same time so we are planning to drive up north and try out a tent we bought from the Christmas sales. This is gonna be a trial for our future camper life! Let’s see how far we get with our 10 euro luxury tent…