Tag Archives: Pōhutukawa

The colours of a New Zealand Christmas

Nature provides us with seasonal decorations – all around the area where we live. Pōhutukawa

My social media is flooded with Christmas photos, mostly from cold, northern climates. But I thought, as I drove through my local town, the colours of a New Zealand Christmas are red, blue and yellow. Bright red, blue and yellow because of the clear light that characterises this country.

Pōhutukawa come in every shade of red. The yellow is much less common and not as spectacular in the landscape but has a charm of its own.

The pōhutukawa (Metrosideros excelsa) are commonly referred to as the New Zealand Christmas tree though their climatic range does not extend the full length of the country. This is the time they all come into flower for a brief but impressive few weeks.

Lovingly crafted and gifted from our daughter

I am not great at Christmas decorations (and Mark’s efforts are limited to the Christmas table flowers). There doesn’t seem a great need for them when we live surrounded by flowers and foliage just outside every window. With no little ones in our life at this time, and indeed no big ones this year with no international travel possible, the box of decorations will likely stay in the Harry Potter cupboard beneath the stairs. In the interests of festive spirit, however, I have brought out the exquisite three kings in crochet that Elder Daughter made for me. And planking Santa and yoga Santa are making their annual appearance.

Planking Santa and yoga Santa – pretty much family heirlooms now.

Spare a thought for Melania, though. There are words I never thought I would say.

After the black and silver gothic horror of her first efforts decorating the White House,

followed by her bizarre attempts at designer red – quickly transformed on social media to figures from ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’,

this year she went with a more traditional theme. I might not have taken much notice of this were it not the headline I saw from Mashable: “Melania Trump unveils her final White House Christmas decorations and they’re fine.

Talk about being damned with faint praise, tinged with relief!

Lightly decorated though our house will be and few in number sitting down to Christmas treats (few? What am I talking about? Just two) ours at least will be a Christmas of colour, light and flowers.  I may have to dig out the CD we have of reggae Christmas carols as the background soundtrack to Christmas zoom calls with the children, just to make them groan and remember the days of childhood Christmases.