If there’s one thing New Zealanders do well, it’s shutting down and taking a break over Christmas and New Year’s. Each of those dates has two public holidays associated with it, and those public holidays are ‘Mondayised’ (applied to the following workday if they happen to fall on a weekend) so almost everyone with an office job just takes off for at least two weeks at this time, and many people stretch it out to three or even four weeks.
We spent the first couple of weeks away with family celebrating Christmas, then the last week we had no plans and no commitments. As I alluded to here, that was lovely but I wanted to make sure it still felt like we were on holiday, even though we weren’t away from home. I devised a list of fun activities for us to do, and from that we arranged a loose schedule for the week based on beach visits, boat trips, relaxing by the pool, a day in Matakana, visits to some of our favourite restaurants, and plenty of ice creams, of course! By Friday, sun kissed and tired, we were all very glad of a slightly cooler, drizzly day to lay around the house, read, play with Christmas toys, and watch a movie together as a family (we watched Ron’s Gone Wrong and we all loved it! Much went over Amelie’s head but she got the gist enough to enjoy the story and she laughed out loud numerous times, predominantly at the more slapstick moments.)
All in all, we had the loveliest holiday. I love going away but it’s something pretty special to have so many fun things to enjoy in your own backyard – this week was a great way for us to really appreciate that. Here are some more photos of what we got up to, if you want to see…!