The holiday season “back home” can get nuttier than fruitcake and colder than hell frozen over. Both are good reasons to bow out.
But there are others; celebrating elsewhere makes you re-adapt old traditions and craft new ones, like this centerpiece made of stuff from our yard. We skipped the presents, since this trip is one big gift. But Santa still found us—or so the youngster stated—and left behind the world (a beachball globe with our route marked on it), a Mercedes (Matchbox edition), and a stuffed polar bear (free from the pharmacy with a NZ$5 purchase). Those three things brought as many smiles as a pile of PlayStations. After that, the day was much like any Christmas. Naps happened. The same songs played over and over (although here it’s “a kiwi in a kauri tree”). A few boxes from afar were unwrapped. And of course, the grill ran out of gas halfway through cooking the bird—making for some foul language and a late feast. Peace.