This year it’s been great as I’ve had time to get prepared for Auckland at Christmas without it being a last minute mad dash.
In what might be considered a bit of a pattern, one lunchtime when I went out and about to do some errands and Christmas shopping, there were a number of quirky things that made me remember why I love living in Auckland and put me in the Christmas spirit.
Vulcan Lane is in the centre of a fab part of town with independent shops, the best bookstore in town, cafes, bars and restaurants. They also had some fantastic, understated, but wonderful Christmas decorations that were gently swaying in the breeze.
As you may have picked up I love coffee. In all major cities in New Zealand (and even small towns) there is a cafe or espresso bar on every corner (literally!). When we first returned to NZ I just couldn’t understand how they all made any money, but they do – Kiwis love their coffee and a beautiful muffin/brioche/scone to go with it!
Across the road from the coffee stand was one of the best things about summer in New Zealand – fresh strawberries. Wonderful to have them in the city freshly picked that morning. In my case they didn’t even make it home, they got eaten at my desk that afternoon!
Of course, the quirkiest thing of all at Christmas in Auckland is the big Santa that is put up on the side of a department store in the city each year. I remember looking up at him as child when we came into town for the annual visit to see Father Christmas. He’s moved location, and in years gone by one of his fingers would move (have to admit that was a bit creepy), but I love that despite budget cuts and health & safety concerns, he is still larger than life.
I heard this song for the first time this week and just love it. Wait to hear them sing (about 1 minute 44 seconds in) – it’s worth it.
All the best for the festive season.