Darren and I thought we could perhaps put up more of a 'summery' tree (which still is against the whole point anyway), and did manage to find some cute summer-themed ornaments and fake Pohutukawa blossoms.
Pa-hoo-a-wha? Right - the Pohutukawa tree. Also known as the "New Zealand Christmas Tree", as it is endemic to New Zealand and the bright red flowers bloom right around Christmas each year. From a distance, they bear a resemblance to Poinsettias. Up close, however, you'll see that the flowers are made up of lots of little hair-like strands that definitely look like hair when they fall to the ground. Our friend Arthur highlighted these beautiful trees in a post/video(around minute 2:10) on his blog.
The trees can be found all over Wellington and gave me just one more excuse not to decorate. Instead, we took heaps of pictures:
Not so pretty once the blooming period is over. Luckily, the tree is just a large green tree the rest of the year (it is an evergreen).
We spent part of Christmas day with our friends Darrel and Merrin, playing Apples to Apples and eating a large BBQ'd dinner. Sorry there is no photographic evidence of the lovely day - we were too busy eating Merrin's yummy food!
As usual, most of Wellington shut down (especially restaurants and shops) and buses and trains were free to ride all Christmas day. Even though we are a week into the New Year, many restaurants and cafes are still closed while their proprietors are taking holidays overseas or just out of town in a bach. And while it is nice to live in a country that doesn't frown on any holiday over 2 weeks long, I really reeeeeaaaally miss my favorite sushi place!
Some cafes won't be opening up again, sadly, due to the difficult economic times. I saw this sign today while trying to find a poor substitute for my beloved sushi: