I’m beginning to think that New Zealanders don’t share the same level of hype with Christmas as those in the Northern Hemisphere do. This is two weekends in a row now I’ve been disappointed by the ‘Christmas’ markets in the city. Both advertised as being a ‘Christmas’ market but when I went there expecting to see booths lined with handmade wreaths, ornaments and baked goods, I was hard-pressed to find ANYTHING that was remotely related to Christmas.

The same experience happened today during the Wellington ‘Christmas’ parade. Out of all the floats in the hour and half parade, I saw 2 that were playing Christmas music, a handful of Santa hats and a few tinsel signs.

The parade was full of marching bands and bagpipe bands playing just regular music (when I played in the Christmas parades back home, we played Jingle Bells and We Wish you a Merry Christmas on our pipes the entire parade). A number of cultural floats showcased the diversity in the city coupled with a variety of other odd themes like Star Wars, Captain Hook and Bob the Builder. I don’t know about you but Darth Vader doesn’t exactly come to mind when I think of Christmas?

Star Wars, Chinese dragons, Captain Hook & Bob the Builder all scream Christmas…..right?

What topped it off was seeing the Halloween themed float go by blasting out Thriller equipped with dancing zombies . Not sure how that one made the cut for the ‘Christmas’ Parade?

They did get the ending right with a huge Santa and reindeer at the end to close out the parade in a traditional way. I think since it’s summer, the association with snow, Christmas trees and all the traditional Christmas themes that I know just isn’t as strong here. Despite the oddities though, there were still hoards of happy people just as excited to see the parade as ever.
Santa Clause!!