How young and old celebrate Christmas in Mahurangi

While Christmas means different things to different people, it seems that spending quality time with family and having fun together remains one of the day’s highlights. Mahurangi Matters spoke to children at Snells Beach school and seniors at Summerset Retirement Village to get their different takes on Christmas. It found the goodwill theme continues …

Christmas thoughts from Snells Beach School …

Cayden Steffener, 11
Favourite thing about Christmas?
Going away on holiday, opening presents and wrapping presents for people.
What would you like for Christmas?
I would like a grow your own candy cane. We had one of those once before and they are cool. You plant it in a little bucket with special soil and then you water it and it turns into a candy cane at Christmas.

Alex Elwin, 6
Favourite thing about Christmas?
Celebrating with my family – with my Granny and Nana and Grandad. You celebrate by giving presents to people at Christmas. If you make a fuss you get presents, but even if you don’t make a fuss you get presents too. presents for people.
What would you like for Christmas?
Lego Jurassic World. The dinosaurs have got really sharp teeth. There are medium size ones, small size ones and massiver size ones.
Lachie Ramel-Spain, 6
Favourite thing about Christmas?
I like it that you get to spend time with your family and giving them presents to show that you love them. That’s what I think Christmas is about.
What would you like for Christmas?
Lego. I don’t mind what sort of Lego but I do like Lego cars. And lots of boxes of chocolates. I like chocolates. Doesn’t everyone?
Why do we celebrate Christmas?
I know that Christmas is the time that Jesus was born. It’s Jesus’ birthday. The word Christ is in Christmas..
Zoe Turner, 11
Favourite thing about Christmas?
I like spending time with family. We catch up with all the family we have not seen for ages, and we have a nice dinner together.
What would you like for Christmas?
I have not really thought about that. I don’t really think presents are a big part of Christmas.
Why do we celebrate Christmas?
Because of the Christians and people’s beliefs in Jesus and stuff.
Eva Cavanagh, 5
Favourite thing about Christmas?
You get to stay up late and hang out at night time, and our Christmas tree has glitter on it. Every time you turn the button on it sparkles at night. That’s what I like about Christmas.
What would you like for Christmas?
I’ve already opened some of my presents. One was a little toy puppy. My other present was a cat – a real cat. And I bought my Mum a present. It was chocolate. And for my Daddy I gave him Star Wars stamps.
Why do we celebrate Christmas?
Because it’s special and when you get presents and it means that Santa is here.

Jessica Vegar, 9
Favourite thing about Christmas?
I get to see my family and I get to see all my family happy. We normally go to my Nana and Papa’s house and then my aunty and uncle come along.   
What would you like for Christmas?
I would like an iPad. I think I will get one because I missed out on it for my birthday. All my brothers got one for their birthday.

Darcy Bale, 5
Favourite thing about Christmas?
I like celebrating and going on holiday and making new friends. I like giving presents.
What would you like for Christmas?
I’m hoping to get a water pistol so I can pay back my brother because sometimes he scares me. When I get the water pistol, I’ll say, “If you do that next time, I will get you.” But if you have been naughty you don’t get any presents, so it’s important to be good. But some people might say squirting your brother is naughty? I won’t normally do it. Only when he needs it and only at Christmas time. Christmas time is payback time.
Phineas Parish-Blackler, 9
Favourite thing about Christmas?
I like the food. I also like the Christmas crackers and the tree. There’s heaps of decorations on our tree and if you are a cat you can play with them – as long as you don’t break them. Plus, for breakfast we get Coco Pops. It makes the milk turn into chocolate milk – it’s tasty.
What would you like for Christmas?
I just want Lego. I am Lego crazy. Oh, and I do need some more clothes. I’m running out of clean shorts and T-shirts.
Why do we celebrate Christmas?
Because it was the day Jesus was born and it’s a nice day to be with your family. You give and you get.


Christmas thoughts from Summerset Retirement Village …

Pam Poole, 85
Favourite thing about Christmas?
I like to go to church on Christmas Day. I haven’t been all year because I’ve been ill, but I will be going on Christmas Day so that will be nice. We eat too much and we spend too much, but I enjoy it. I enjoy Christmas because of family and friends and eating together. It’s a happy time of year.

Judy Macready, 74
Favourite thing about Christmas?
I love Christmas because it’s a joyful time with family and friends. I don’t enjoy the commercialism so much, but I enjoy time with the grandchildren. We get together with our three sons and their families. Christmas is a time to stop rushing around and enjoy each other’s company.

David Stranaghan, 76
Favourite thing about Christmas?
It can be a hassle getting everybody together, but when we do get together I enjoy it. I enjoy seeing the children and the grandchildren. My wife is very much into Christmas trees and decorations. She always puts the tree up and the grandchildren will help her decorate it. That is kind of fun.
Jean Rees, 82
Favourite thing about Christmas?
I like all the traditional things about Christmas and I still enjoy it. When we were children we had hard times but even though times were tough we always had Christmas cake and we always had Christmas pudding. There were always two buttons in the Christmas pudding and whoever got the buttons had to do the dishes on Christmas Day.
John Harris, 79   
Favourite thing about Christmas?
Well I am a Gentleman of the Cloth – Christ was born and that is what I like about it. Also, choirs have always been a big part of Christmas for me. I’ll join a choir walking around the Summerset village singing traditional Christmas carols at various spots. The trouble is these units are so sound proof you can’t just stand outside and sing, you have got to go and ring the doorbells to get people to come out and listen. I suppose you could call it a night of bell ringing.

Ivan Pivac, 86
Favourite thing about Christmas?
I like getting together for meals with
other people. When my wife was alive we always had a Christmas tree. She died a few years ago, and I have not bothered since. She was the one who was passionate about the tree and the decorations and buying presents for all the children and grandchildren. It makes me sad not to have my wife around doing that stuff now. But at Summerset I enjoy being with other people. They can’t replace my wife, but it’s better than being on my own.

Ivy Mills, 89
Favourite thing about Christmas?
I enjoy Christmas. It’s the atmosphere, I think. It brings out the best in people. When my husband died and my children had gone, I used to do volunteering in the paediatrics ward at Waitakere Hospital. For each kiddie, there would be a pink teddy bear or a blue teddy bear on their bed. I don’t know who donated them. But Christmas brings that sort of thing out in people.  

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