Thursday, December 25, 2008

Ho Ho Ho and a Merry Kiwi Christmas!

(We spent Christmas afternoon on the beach... jealous much?!?!!)

After a delightful Christmas day service, we snacked and OPENED PRESENTS! Lowell and I weren't initially expecting any gifts whatsoever, but Julie Anne & Erin lugged several gifts for us from home. Because we had all the gifts, we just HAD to put up a tree! So... last week we invested a TOTAL of $16 NZ, and put together this little masterpiece.

Julie Anne, Erin and I are ready to open presents. BRING 'EM ON!

Lowell was pretty excited too- he lost all control over his oral muscles and could no longer hold yogurt in his mouth. (The drooling had nothing to do with the fact that I lassoed his neck and unexpectedly yanked his face towards me so we could pose for a picture).

Lowell (being the oldest of the 4 of us) and Erin (the baby) played rock paper scissors to determine whether we'd open gifts oldest to youngest, or youngest to oldest. Erin won.

Her Mom gave her a singing card and Erin sang & danced in her chair like only Erin can do.

Next was Julie Anne. She makes that gift look gooooood.

Our sister & brother-in-law, Lori and Dave, sent us these adorable life-sized, huggable versions of their daughters (Carmen and Charlotte). It felt so good to hug those kiddies again!

They are now wall hangings on our previously bare wall. If Dave and Janelle (the parents of our other 2 nieces) wouldn't mind sending similar versions of their children, our home decor would be complete!

One of Lowell's favourite things about the Christmas season is eggnog, but these Kiwis have not yet hopped aboard that little Christmas tradition. My parents sent Lowell Eggnog Coffee and this made Lowell happy. Very happy indeed.

After opening presents, we went to the BEACH! In our SANTA HATS! (Apparently this was unusual as we were the only ones even remotely Christmassy and we received PLENTY of stares).

And let the graceful action shots begin!

At the beginning of the trip, Erin felt as though her picture smiles were fake and forced. I offered her the wise advice to laugh while the picture was being taken to help make the smile more natural. Since then, we have all forced ourselves into random bouts of laughter for each picture we have taken (in public or not). Throughout the past week, Erin's smile has improved, but mine has become increasingly more awkward and unnatural. Go figure.

I needed to change into my one piece suit because the 2-piece didn't feel like staying on. (The Santa hats drew enough attention to the group, there was no need for me to be cruising around in the nude). Lowell and Julie Anne were kind enough to fashion a temporary change room for me.

It was a great opportunity to try out our new skimboard!

(Basic definition of the skimboarding that we did: "Unlike surfing, skimboarding begins on the beach, with the skimboarder running and dropping their board onto the thin wash of previous waves.")

Next on the agenda was Christmas din din with Lance, Natalie, and Nat's parents (who are, by the way, quite possibly the most fun and entertaining people we've ever met). They made a point of informing us that this was NOT a traditional Kiwi Christmas dinner. They had rented a little tiny cabin at the beach, and the matchbox-sized fridge limited the extravagance. HOWEVER, it was still DELICIOUS and the evening included some traditional Kiwi things... such as the popper game!

We formed a circle and each held the end of a popper. On the count of 3, we all pulled and whoever ended up with the bigger end of the popper got to keep the prize(s) inside.

Most of the poppers came with paper crowns and really cheesy jokes such as "What do you call an angry kangaroo?........... hopping mad!" hee hee:)

Nat's Momma is unveiling the food! MMmmmmmm...

We thought that the fact that we had Christmas dinner on the DECK was very noteworthy.

Another tradition included was PAVOLVA. This is a Kiwi Christmas dessert, and Lowelly likey!

After our delightful Christmas dinner, we walked to the end of the beach and back. How very refreshing.

More conversation and laughs were to be had back at the cabin, then it was time to head home to bed. We were POOPED!

When we got home, some of us noticed that our skin was a little more red than is natural. Even though it was quite overcast throughout the day, Lowell and Erin still managed to burn themselves to a crisp. New Zealand UV is ridiculously intense because of that little thing called a HOLE in the ozone layer. It's a 7-minute burn time here... even when it's cloudy apparently. Lowell and Erin sort of learned that little lesson the hard way. Erin looks like she's still wearing her little bikini. OUCH!

Bet none of you Canadians will burn yourselves to a crisp on Christmas day!! MERRY CHRISTMAS FROM US TEMPORARY LITTLE KIWIS TO YOU!


marcandorkylie said...

merry christmas hosers!
we are having the laarmans and the wolcott clan over for dinner tonight.

def. no beach play here (although park lake IS tempting) but dad and i may go snowshoeing tomorrow.

love you guys lots... looks like you made the most of your kiwi christmas! thank god for great friends.

we miss you here, but we will see you soon!

Shelley said...

so glad you guys had a good christmas! pictures are hilarious!


Colleen and Mike Hoyer said...

Blessings you two; we have the snow in Vancouver, but envy the freedom of the warmth.