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Basking at the Beach: Summer in New Zealand

An Englishman Expat recounts his summers in New Zealand. Christmas in the Sun is a pretty strange place to be.

Photo by adam_g2000

I grew up in the south of England. When I was in my late twenties I met a wonderful woman, who invited me to travel the world. After three months in Europe, one of the most amazing experiences of my life, I jumped on a plane with her to New Zealand. And stayed there. 10 years later I’m still there, with two children.

One of the most difficult things to get to grips with having grown up with cold, often snowy Christmases is having Christmas in the middle of summer. At first, it’s disconcerting, everyone is getting excited, except you. There is none of the routine temperature dropping, dark evenings, family huddling etc. It gets hotter and hotter, then bang. Christmas day. Much less decorations. No Pudding. Barbecues for lunch, swimming at the beach. Weird.

But it’s not all bad. We swim in warm water in the morning, we drink cocktails, we eat crayfish. Heck, if we’re lucky we hang out on a boat. This year we spent 4 days on a boat.

Since I had children it’s got even better, all you parents know kids behave badly cooped up indoors, ours get to behave badly on the beach, away from us.

But the best thing, is the simplicity and ‘analogue-ness’ of it all. The TV is off. There are no digital music players. No DVD, Blu-Ray, no X-Box, no Playstation. The toys aren’t laptops and computers, they’re waterpistols, rugby balls, swingball. It’s terrific, truly all about family.

So the Christmas cards still have sleighs, snowmen and scenes of white Christmases, but I can deal with it.

Photo by adam_g2000

written by adam_g2000


  1. vicuna


    great article @adam_g2000! I experienced the same strange feeling to celebrate christmas in the hottest season since I'm in French Polynesia... and to have some winter feeling, I spent my 2 last july holidays in New Zealand, ha ha!! :))

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  2. davideji


    In Nigeria, kids don't even get presents. It's all about the love :) I think, to celebrate christmas in the sun is a fantastic experience!

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  3. lenyvole


    Damn! It sounds so great! :))
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  4. neanderthalis


    I spent my early Christmases in Northern U.S. states like Connecticut, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania with tons of white snow. Although I have spent 20+ Christmases in Southern California & Hawaii, I still can't get in the mood like I do with the snow and cold.

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  5. onlinekiwi


    As a Kiwi who has been living in the UK for four years, I understand exactly what you mean - except perhaps in reverse!
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  6. raejk14


    This is lovely! :):)

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Read this article in another language

This is the original article written in: English. It is also available in: 日本語.