So I’d like to say I’m a mature adult who moans about the ‘silly season’; who complains about the bombardment of sales, unnecessary present buying and cheesy Christmas music on repeat…but I’m not…I LOVE CHRISTMAS!! While each year it seems to come round earlier and earlier, I can’t get enough of the food, the Christmas church services, time with whanau and the pressies! This week I enjoyed my first mince pie and it occurred to me we’re on the six week countdown! I recognise some of us are more ‘into’ Christmas than others. Josh is one of the ‘others’. Each year he tries to convince me to streamline our Christmas tree…instead what’s produced is a celebration of all things colourful. Included are our treasures from our travels…a Nazar Boncuğu from Istanbul, Lei wreaths from Vanuatu and painted Christmas eggs from Austria. These treasures are of course overwhelmed by pink throwing tinsel from the Warehouse and glittery disco ball balls (Josh is obviously not a fan!).
I haven’t spent all week fizzing with Christmas anticipation…this week we launched the ‘Try It On’ programme at Vilo. Josh and I are working hard to build a brand people can trust, with pieces people love. ‘Try It On’ is a free returns programme for kiwi customers for if the watch or sunnies don’t fit or don’t suit. We’re trialing #vilotryiton tag on Instagram and Facebook if unsure customers fancy our humble advice…
I couldn’t do a semi - Christmas blog without including ‘Francesca’s Festive Five’
Christmas is a time for whanau and friends. Embrace the looney in-laws and weird family members you bump heads with once a year. Use the Christmas work party to talk to someone new (or old) and perhaps invite some strays to Christmas lunch. There’s far too many alone on Christmas Day…why not look around and invite a lonely someone who would thoroughly enjoy lunch with your weird rellies!?
While many ex-pats may moan that a Southern Hemisphere Christmas “doesn’t feel like Christmas”, there are enough emerging kiwi traditions to kick a Northern Christmas’ butt! Take the sunny opportunity to head camping, go beach blobbing and stock the chest Freezer for BBQs. New Zealand has enough wonder spots local to all kiwis. There’s so many slices of paradise in Northland alone which I haven’t seen. Bump was present at our last beach trip…we’ve yet to introduce our four week old baby girl to the long white sand!
DON’T over extend yourself. Out of control credit card debt and loans are catastrophic traps over the ‘silly season’. The giftee (not gifter!) won’t notice the few extra dollars spent on them, especially children, but a bank balance can feel the Christmas hit, well into the New Year. Expectations of Christmas presents and food have sky rocketed. Take it as a personal challenge to change the culture of your Christmas and shift focus onto the true meaning (see point five!)
Many go through the Christmas season and emerge completely deflated. While I’m a strong believer in embracing every opportunity to socialise, prioritise the groups you want to see and people you want to spend time with.
Five… What’s It All About?
Christmas seems to induce stress and overwhelming temptation to pile on Christmas kilos and max out credit cards. Why not reign it back this year? The glut of food and presents is far from the real meaning of Christmas. It’s a celebration of the birth of the world’s greatest present and an opportunity to show love to those around us.
This may have been a premature blog (given it’s still November) but my first mince pie channelled all the fizzy Christmas feelings I try to supress throughout the preceding 11 months! For more information on Vilo’s ‘Try It On’ programme, check out our website. Or follow us on Instagram and Facebook.