Finn and Lucy Langman - New Plymouth, New Zealand

In New Zealand, like its neighbor Australia, Christmas comes in the middle of the summer holidays.
Lots of people like to spend time of the beach, camping or at their Baches (holiday homes) for Christmas.
Many towns have a Santa parade with decorated floats, bands and marching girls. This can be any time from mid November onwards and is really a commercial event but much enjoyed by all. As it's warm, Santa is often seen wearing 'jandals' (New Zealand sandals) and sometimes he swaps his red top for a New Zealand 'All Blacks' rugby shirt!
Children in New Zealand leave out carrots for Santa reindeer and Santa might be left a beer and some pineapple chunks!
In the main cities like Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch and Hamilton, there are big Christmas light shows and displays. There are big carol services throughout the country, even in small town, villages and rural areas.
New Zealand has some special carols of it's own. These include 'Te Haranui', Christmas in New Zealand and A Kiwiana Christmas! These are sung at most carol services around the country.