Our friends at Hawthorn Primary in Wales asked us about what Christmas is like in New Zealand. They wondered how it was different from their cold Christmases.
Today some groups started working on ways in which to explain the differences. Here are the first two groups' contributions:
Eddie, Fletcher, Richard, and Hamish:
In New Zealand, it is quite different to other countries Christmas like our Santa looks a bit like this.
This is because we have Christmas in the summer where it is hotter. With it being hot we stay outside and we may go to the beach or go in a pool. We also cook food on a barbeque and some people play backyard cricket.
We also prefer to wear are bare feet or jandals instead of socks and shoes. We don’t have a full Christmas lunch and dinner unless we are with friends; even then it’s made up of less traditional foods, like sausages, potato salads burgers and more. Instead of staying inside we go to the beach or do an outside activity.
Here is a video of some kids that made a video of the story of Jesus’ birth
Here is another video of a New Zealand version of the song ‘Jingle Bells’.
Emily, Renee, and Olivia:
Once upon a time, on the night before Christmas, children were asleep, snow was drifting down… Wait, hold up, that’s not how it’s told.
Across the world, the last of the sun is shining and joyous shouts are heard across the fields. Cricket balls are hit and soccer ball are kicked, as backyard games are played. The smell of barbequed steak wafts over as the cry for dinner goes out. Gathering around the table, the sun setting, laughter echoes around as stories are shared, jokes are cracked and early presents are ripped open.
Carefree cheers fill the air as pavlova comes into view. Cut, shared and demolished. Dinner is over and the night sky seeps in as the kiwi kids drift to bed, happy and content. Excitement pierces the sleepiness as they realise…
Tomorrow is Christmas, to be filled with presents, trips to the beach, fish and chips and family.
Sean, Jackson, Jiarn and Jason:
It's the time of the year for Christmas,
Santa - if you go anywhere with a Santa (shopping centres, Christmas parties or parades), he is still dressed in the full red suit with a beard, hat and black boots. It must be awfully hot in all of that.
Christmas cards - these days, people tend to be sending out less and less cards, but most of those that are sent feature trees with snow and 'English' type white Christmas scenes. Having said that, there are more New Zealand type scenes appearing in them.
Food - Although more people are starting to have barbecues for their main Christmas meal, there are still a lot of families who have quite a traditional hot meal. For example, at my house this year, we'll have roast lamb and ham on the bone (I love roast turkey, but my husband's family don't), but instead of hot vegetables, we'll have salads. For the younger children, there'll be sausages and patties barbecued. For dessert, I'll make pavlova and trifle, which we'll have with fresh fruit salad, strawberries and ice-cream, and my mother-in-law will make a Christmas pudding with custard. So you can see, we have developed a hybrid meal - some from colder climates, and some recognising our environment.
Entertainment - People often go for walks as a family or play outdoor games. Those by the sea or with pools may spend the afternoon swimming.
Christmas carols - we have a few New Zealand carols, but most of those we sing come from Great Britain or the USA. They're still singing about snow and warm fires etc.
It's a time you don't want to miss,
Here we still have fun,
Running round in the sun
And Santa still gives us presents.
We all still like Christmas pudding,
We wouldn't miss it for anything.
The tree goes up,
Stars, bells and stuff,
And some Christmas carols we sing.
These students have summed up the differences beautifully, but they haven't really focused on the things that are the same: