New Zealand

A Very Merry Kiwi Christmas

December 26, 2015

My favorite holiday has come and gone, yet I don’t feel as if I actually missed out on Christmas like I thought I was going to. To avoid being homesick, I didn’t watch any Christmas movies (who am I????) or listen to much Christmas music, aside from what was playing in stores. I did listen to a “Beach Christmas” playlist on Spotify because listening to all my regular favorites felt too weird. For someone who usually begins Christmas mode in October, this was quite unusual.

On Christmas Eve, I spent the day at work and then made my way to the beach in the late afternoon (it’s been sunny and 75 degrees here every day this week hehe..). That night, I went to a friend’s house for a little potluck dinner before making it into town for a few drinks. I was bummed because as soon as we arrived into town, a bunch of Christmas carolers had just finished singing on the cathedral steps by candlelight??? It sounded amazing.

As we were walking home, there was a man laying in the middle of the sidewalk. At first, we thought it was a drunk person passed out, but then realized it was an old man. When I got closer I called out to him and asked if he was alright. He slowly sat up and I noticed his head was bleeding, so I called 111.

(Side note: The emergency number in New Zealand is 111 – NOT 911. I didn’t know this for the first four months I lived here. It’s a good thing I didn’t have any emergency situations until after I found out………)

The man said he had was beat up by three men who were calling him a pedophile. *Takes a large step backward.* A police car finally arrived to take care of the situation. So we may or may not have saved a possible pedophile??? Hm.

Christmas morning I made my way to the beach for a little sunshine and swim. Lots of families and backpackers were at the beach in Santa hats and reindeer ears. One couple brought a picnic, champagne and a whole pile of presents.

I spent the afternoon at a friend’s place for a BBQ with some other foreigners/people who didn’t have family in the area. It seems like no matter what country you are in, it’s Christmas tradition to stuff your face!

In the late afternoon, I went back to the beach with a friend – I just can’t get enough of it. Then I had a small meal with another foreigner I met on a plane last month. I ended up chatting with some family as well which was nice. I ended the day with a movie about boxing – exciting stuff!

Overall it was a great Christmas, although I definitely missed being around family, having a (fake) yule log and snow (by the sound of it, most you back home didn’t have snow either). It’s easy to get caught up in the sadness or homesickness, but if you surround yourself with quality people and remind yourself of how great life is, it becomes much easier. Read this for tips on dealing with homesickness.

Have you ever spent Christmas abroad or in a different climate than usual? I would love to hear from you – leave your comment below!

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