January 6, 2011

The 5th Christmas

5 stunning years of Christmas here in NZ, and this year was as lovely and as special as the ones before. Back in 2006 when we first moved here Bethany was a wee little thing, only just 3 years old and so very cute. We had a great first Christmas here – it was one of the most special we have ever had.

This year we again stayed home, it’s very traditional for Kiwis to head away for Christmas, with the summer and 6 week school holidays it’s something they naturally do. Of course we are more home birds come Christmas time we love all the traditions that come with it all. We will be honest though, Christmas has been quite flat for us this year, we have really found it hard to not only get into the mood but to feel motivated by it all. I think the main reason for this was the trip back to the UK in October – it made us realise just how much we actually miss our family, it accentuates that longing to be with them, even more so at this special time of the year. But of course we have to remember that for Bethany this is all she knows now, forever she will remember her childhood Christmas as being the one when the sun shone, when the air was warm and the magical daylight never seemed to end.

Christmas morning came early! We didn’t even have time to do our usual of getting up first and making sure the room was ready and setting up the camera to catch the moment, she wanted to be in and see what Santa had left her. Once again she did well this year, she got some gorgeous gifts from our family and friends in the UK, it was a very special morning for her. I know it’s a bit of a pain trying to send things early for those of you in the UK, but it makes her day that much more special to have your gifts.

Bethany got the most massive bag from Santa. When we were in the UK she became obsessed with Peppa Pig, not really known here in NZ and more aimed at pre-schoolers she just couldn’t get enough of it. Out of the three things on her list this year Santa was kind enough to get her the full set.

Of course Bethany wasn’t the only spoilt one, Denver and Bailey were lucky enough to get some treats in their stockings too!

We had a lovely time talking with family and friends on Skype, Bethany saved some presents to open ‘with them’ – oh how we worship Skype!

We decided this year that we wouldn’t do the traditional dinner that we normally do, mainly due to the amount of work it takes, the immense heat outside and the fact there are no fresh Brussels Sprouts at this time of the year (although Michael would disagree about the sprouts!) and so we just decided to do light food – and so this year we tried out Beer Can Chicken!!

The funniest and oddest thing but after only an hour the bird was ready, and she was gorgeous!

So with that done, we packed it up, grabbed some extras and took a picnic to the beach!

The weather was just amazing, the previous weeks had given us heaps and heaps of rain storms and just generally annoying weather so it was a welcome break to have the blue skies and the beautiful sunshine pushing through. We went to our usual beach which to our surprise was packed (and by packed I mean NZ style, as in there were more than 10 people!) – the good weather must have brought people out!

The boys were also treated to Christmas dinner – I cooked up some big juicy stakes before we left, they enjoyed them whilst we had our dinner!

Afterwards we enjoyed a paddle, searching for crabs and a lovely wander round the bay – how so very different our Christmas Day’s are now!

On the night we were invited round to our neighbours house – Brett and Andie are just lovely and their home is stunning. We spent the night with them and their family enjoying home made pizza and lots of wine. Even better Bethany decided she wanted to sleep over – our first Christmas day night without her!

We finished our day with more chats on Skype, now being the morning in the UK we relived the morning all over again. The Christmas spirit for us was still lost somewhere over the ocean, despite trying to be massively festive throughout the day that feeling just didn’t happen. Regardless of all that we still had a cracking day, so much fun, and we love that Bethany is one of the luckiest girls ever and that we can give her all of this – the memories she will have from her childhood will be so different to ours, but they will be just as brilliant, if not better.

 

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