My First Kiwi Christmas
I'm not much of a holiday person, and I've only celebrated Christmas a few times in my life (twice I think!). Still, being alone on the road during this time of year is tough, especially with everyone posting pictures of their families and friends together. So I was super excited and grateful when @avon & @louisevr invited me to celebrate with their family in Waiheke, an island that's just a ferry ride away from Auckland!
The first time I celebrated Christmas was with my Minnesotan boyfriend in college. It was honestly the most perfect Christmas I can imagine. There was snow, we decorated home-made sugar cookies with frosting, we went ice-skating, we threw around a football, we played board games, there was fire in the fireplace. And there were LOTS of presents. Like LOTS of them. My boyfriend got $1000s of dollars worth of presents just for him.
The thing I really liked about my Kiwi Christmas was that @avon's family exchanges fun, silly presents - a lego set for the kids (and the whole family) to put together, fun food, ridiculously blue and glittery eye liner, a feather toy for the cat, and more fun food (like trail mix for long walks together).
I personally hate shopping (especially during this time of the year), and I don't like stuff, so it was cool to see a Christmas that wasn't centered around excessive consumerism.
The food was a typical amazing holiday meal - ham, turkey, cooked vegetables, salad, potatoes, etc. But the exciting part for me came at the end. Pavlova!
Pavlova is a special New Zealand (and I think Australian) Christmas desert named in honor of a Russian Prima Ballerina Anna Pavlova who performed in New Zealand and Australia in the early 1900s! The recipe we had included merengue, cream-cheese, chocolate, and cherry preserves on top along with other amazing ingredients. It was heavenly!
Pavlova has to be eaten all in one sitting, since it does not preserve well, so of course I was happy to help myself to a second helping...
Honestly, this is my favorite food in New Zealand! I cannot describe how good it is. So if you're visiting, make sure to get a slice! I hear you can get your very own Pavlova in bakeries around the city!
Christmas in New Zealand feels super low-key because it is summer. I heard there is another celebration during the winter months that includes ugly holiday sweater parties and other traditional Christmas things that the other half of the world does during the winter.
But it is summer here, so of course after lunch, we went kayaking and swimming and played some Kubb! It was marvelous!
Thanks again @avon & @louisevr for inviting me!