December. It’s officially summer in Auckland! Time to pull out the jandals, togs and chilly bins. (Translation: flip-flops, swimsuits, and coolers.) But also the Christmas trees, twinkly lights, and sweet treats. Back home we’d be hiding holiday weight beneath bulky sweaters and scarves. But in the Southern Hemisphere, we don’t have that luxury – it’s beach season.
Like any other city, Auckland is all dressed up in holiday style. A 10-story-tall Santa clings to the side of Farmers department store. The Sky Tower is lit up red and green. And an enormous Christmas tree built of Legos popped up in Aotera square. But the juxtaposition of fake snow-tipped pine trees and summer weather is truly bizarre.
Though Kiwis typically host sun-soaked barbeques and visit the beach on Christmas, the classic carols remain – telling tales of building snowmen and cosying up by the fire. But to more accurately describe a typical Kiwi Christmas, Air New Zealand cleverly rewrote the lyrics of Winter Wonderland as part of their holiday travel campaign.
My favourite line: “Pour the Sav in the sunshine, serve the pav up at lunchtime. Bubbles for Nan, pineapples on ham – strolling through a summer wonderland.” You can see the ad here, which features Ronan Keating and new Kiwi celebrity Julian from Hunt for the Wilderpeople (and watch the movie if you haven’t already). It’s already reached 10 million views and land the #1 spot on the New Zealand iTunes chart.
Here are some scenes from our own Summer Wonderland holiday season celebrations:
We’re signing off for a quiet Christmas celebration and a two-week campervan trip through the South Island. Merry Christmas to all our friends and family back home – we miss you lots and lots.
We had a wonderful Christmas Eve & Day celebration. Christmas Eve took us downtown to a brewery/craft beer bar (Brothers) and a delicious steakhouse (Botswana Butchery). We spent Christmas Day FaceTiming with family, drinking rose on the beach, and cooking Mexican food 🙂 Feliz Navidad!