Sunday, December 24, 2006

A Pukeko in a Ponga Tree

I was very fortunate to be able to spend Christmas Eve with a wonderful family who Sarah used to baby-sit for. It was a very traditional (for anywhere) family-style Christmas with heaps of food and kids running around everywhere. Of course the meal was a barbecue that reminded me more of the Fourth of July, but I was happy to trade the roast turkey and egg nog for grilled steaks and New Zealand wine.

This family has a tradition of opening presents on Christmas Eve, and before some unsuspecting uncle dons the Santa suit to hand them out, the kids perform Christmas carols. The adults sing along, so when "The Twelve Days of Christmas" was put on the list, I quickly tried to remember what comes after seven swans a-swimming. But I was quickly saved by not knowing any of the words--this was the Kiwi version.

12 Piupiu swinging
11 Haka lessons
10 Juicy fish heads
9 Sacks of pipi
8 Plants of puha
7 Eels a-swimming
6 Poi a-twirling
5 Big fat pigs
4 Huhu grubs
3 Flax kites
2 Kumara
And a pukeko in a ponga tree!

Then the kids performed the haka (the non-throat-slitting one) and Santa came. I'm sure this is just me speaking as a tourist who can't resist cute little kids, but I love New Zealand Christmas!

1 comment:

Charlie said...

Merry Christmas, Geetha!