Christmas in New Zealand: Expectation vs. Reality
Expectation: Having Christmas in summer is the best! We’re going to play ten overs of backyard cricket and then have a massive BBQ for tea.
Reality: It rains on Christmas day. Everyone sits inside watching TV because it’s one of only four days a year that there won’t be any ads. The programmes are interrupted every ten minutes anyway, because TVNZ needs you to know what other shows they’re going to be screening in the coming days.
Expectation: Ooh, there are heaps of houses on the Christmas lights trail this year! Let’s head out to see them as early as possible so we don’t miss any!
Reality: It doesn’t get dark until 9:30pm. You visit the first three houses on your list and then realise it’s 10:30 already and all the lights are being turned off. As you turn the car around to go home the kids start crying.
Expectation: The Christmas crackers are going to be so good. Mum splashed out on the expensive deluxe crackers for once!
Reality: Your cracker contains a bad donkey pun, a pair of tweezers that don’t close together properly when you squeeze them, and a pale pink party hat that rips when you try to put it on your head.
Expectation: For dessert we’re going to have pavlova, trifle, chocolate dipped strawberries, and ice cream. Yum!
Reality: By the time the evening meal has been eaten everyone is too full and/or pissed to eat dessert. You put everything back in the fridge for Boxing Day, but by the time you get around to eating it all the strawberries are sweating through their chocolate coats and the crispy edges of the pavlova have become moist and soggy.
Expectation: I love going to the Christmas parade. I’m taking a plastic bag with me so I’ve got somewhere to put all the lollies I catch.
Reality: The city council have banned the act of throwing lollies from the parade floats. Instead people in sandwich boards walk down the rows of people passing out one lolly to every third person. You return home with two squishy fruit bursts, a broken lollipop, and eight fliers advertising various services that are completely irrelevant to your needs. You realise you forgot to put sunscreen on the back of your neck.
Expectation: I’m taking the kids to see Santa tomorrow so we can get our annual Christmas photo taken!
Reality: You wait in line for 45 minutes. Santa’s beard is drooping and his voice is muffled by his nylon moustache. You suddenly realise it’s a little creepy that a strange man wants to pull your children up onto his lap. Your youngest child starts crying. You pay $15 for a photo only to find that no one, not even Santa, is looking at the camera.