December 23, 2010

The 3 (or 4) Month Lull

This always happens when I’ve been in NZ for about 3 months.  This time, I’ve been here 4 months before getting this feeling.  Maybe that’s slow progress?
After 3 months, or 4 as the case may be, the novelty wears off.  After 3 months, I start looking up airfare.  After 3 months, I really miss my mom.  After 3 months, I realize my body has been a little bit tensed up all this time and I’m a bit tired. After 3 months, I want to just “be” – on a daily basis – without “trying”.  After 3 months, I want to go home.

December 18, 2010

Embracing Summer Christmas

Summer Christmas.
As unnatural as the juxtaposition of those words might be, I’m trying to embrace this crazy reality.  I have slowly stopped saying, “It’s just WRONG.  Christmas in summer is WRONG.”  I have oppressed this sentiment and replaced it with the expression, “Christmas in summer is, well, different.”  Progress, even if I am gritting my teeth while saying it.

Gift tags from the New Zealand post.
My mission to embrace summer Christmas has involved looking for summer-Christmas paraphernalia – like cards and wrapping paper.  Ideally, I hoped to find these things not just in generic form, but specific to New Zealand.  I had to search in several stores before finding a few selections of stationary depicting kiwis (the birds) wearing Santa hats and red jandals (flip flops). Ah yes, a bit of Kiwiana mixed into my Christmas. That’s what I was after.  But really, they were all pretty ugly cards. I wasn’t sold. The choices are so limited that I have begun to think New Zealand itself is perhaps working on embracing summer-Christmas. Ask the locals and they associate Christmas with barbeques, beer, beaches and jandals.  But go by the decorations, cards and gift wrap, which are all covered in snowmen, snowflakes, dark wintery scenes with twinkling lights, and I think that perhaps, just perhaps, even Kiwis know that Christmas in summer is just WRONG.

I mean different.

And, while looking for said stationary and gift wrap, the stores weren’t even playing Christmas music.

That’s different too.
The cards I finally settled on.  Depictions of Kiwiana Christmas!