Regardless of your age, sex, location or denomination, today was Christmas Day here in New Zealand. I spent it with my family in Christchurch (the city that rocks – if you haven’t read the news, we’ve been hit by a multitude of earthquakes), and it was one of the best I’ve ever had. Christmas is a stressful time for a giant chunk of the population what with family coming together, the pressure to buy amazing gifts, eating and drinking way too much and the financial strain that comes with it all, so hats off to the good people who do their bit to make it a little easier for others. One of my best good friends from Christchurch, Barney Hodges, manages the volunteers at the City Mission on Christmas Day every year and I went along to get amongst it. They put me on quality control duty and it was my job to check every plate that left the kitchen to make sure that it looked good enough to serve in a restaurant. The amount of care and planning that goes into making it a successful event is spectacular – the food is amazing, there’s a live band playing Christmas carols over lunch and all the kids get presents from Santa. I swear to God nothing gets you in the festive spirit like sharing lunch with 700 revelers.
My second favourite part of the day was watching the Queen’s speech. I’m not a royalist by any stretch of the imagination, but listening to her talk about the difficulties of the year past (including a mention of the Christchurch earthquakes) and the importance of community spirit, family and forgiveness really struck a note with me. I may or may not have shed a few tears.
Wherever you are in the world, I wish you all the very best for the holiday season. Merry Christmas, everybody.
I LIKE YOU!