Tuesday, December 15

A family Christmas

For the first time in six years the family has come together for Christmas. Half of us had flown from Europe, while our parents had driven for a couple of hours. Like so many Christmas mornings from days of old, ourday began with a frenzied whirlwind of shredded paper as four young children made light work of wrapped gifts under the tree. There's something remarkably uplifting about the excitment of kids at Christmas.

New dresses, toy trucks, books and sock puppets were soon scattered across the floor. We'd clearly done our bit to revive New Zealand's retail spending statistics. Three years ago the average Kiwi spent more than $900 on Christmas, resulting in a national spend of close to $2.76 billion. However, the recession took its toll last year when Christmas retail sales fell 3.7%. This year sales are already up 1.3% over the same period. Meanwhile, in the USA, consumers are forecast to spend a staggering $437.6 billion in the November and December period, which is still a 1% drop from $442 billion last year.

A traditional roast lamb lunch followed, along with mandatory paper crackers and silly hats. Growing up it was equally traditional to follow lunch with a game of cricket on the back lawn. How else do you spend a Summer's afternoon? However, it seems that times have changed. Today we took the kids ten-pin bowling. Tradition returned later in the day when the adults sat down to a few cold beers in the sun, while the kids tumbled and played nearby. Merry Christmas everyone!


rhonda said...

What a fun day! Please say Hi to everyone and wish them a Merry Christmas. Your parent both look well and happy which is great to see.

Anton said...

Merry christmas to all of you. Take care and have a good Time, Toni, Vaya, Lily and Maxi