Thursday, 17 December 2009

Christmas down under....well in New Zealand.

It never ceases to amaze me that Christmas in the southern hemisphere is so northern.

Walking through a shopping mall in Auckland is an odd experience if you have lived most of your life in the north. The shops look like European/British ones, carols and Christmas songs play, Santa and vague references to Jesus being born are everywhere. People seem to be dreaming of a white Christmas but would be very shocked if it happened here in New Zealand. 

More astonishing was a recent visit to a Mega Mall in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, a Muslim country where the Christmas shopping bonanza was even more pronounced, with the tanoy music being much louder and more overtly Christian.  To hear the strains of "Hail the heaven born Prince of Peace" being belted out, as burka clad ladies and Saudi shoppers all in black, poured over Gucci shoes and Chanel perfume, was very unusual. Charles Wesley would have been amazed. A Muslim friend didn't seem at all concerned by the Christian emphasis.

I find the commercialism of it all somewhat tedious, especially as however hard I try not to give in to it, I find myself joining the queues to get presents wrapped at the "Free Gift Wrapping" stands. I asked the girl who was Wrapping for Charity if she was a volunteer. She said "No way, I get paid, this is far too much like hard work." 

At least Santa in his Grotto looked traditional and made the children cry. My grandson was too scared to go near him. My granddaughter said it wasn't the real Santa because he was not wearing glasses.  At Bayfair, in Tauranga, which is by the beach, Santa has a Beach Batch (a NZ beach cottage) rather than a grotto, wears swimming shorts and balances on a surf board.

I hope a some point we will get a chance to rejoice again over the Father's gift of his own dear Son, whom he gave to the world because he loved us all so much; that it is all about the Father who wants his lost and orphaned children to come back home and be in his family, with or without the snow. 

2 comments:

  1. Trevor, wow! I don't know how you do it, but always when I speak you and now also when I 'read you', you know how to touch my heart. I always come at a point that I realize: it is really true, God is really Father. Not just an understanding with my mind, but a bigger understanding, a picture of the full truth of the love of Father God. It is amazing every time again.
    Thanks! Be blessed! Say 'hi' to Linda.
    And have a great real Christmas.

    Ciao, Lian

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