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Ed Said - Christmas, too much too soon


dadChristmas- too much, too soon!

We thought if we left town for Labour Weekend we might take the rain with us and encourage a burst of fine weather for visitors to enjoy in Mangawhai – and so it proved – although most of the country welcomed a few days of real spring sunshine.

We ventured to Whitianga, not dissimilar to Mangawhai in it’s coastal environment and, at certain times, also under siege from Aucklanders. Although it is permanent home to only about 4,500 the extent of the shopping centre, commercial development, boating services and infrastructure are a definite heads-up as to where Mangawhai needs to be to cope with and service the population growth happening now and into the immediate future. To this end a new forward-thinking Council and Town Planning group is most timely. This is merely an observation just putting thoughts into words.

We headed up the Coromandel on the Wednesday with the object of returning on Labour Weekend Sunday in order to avoid traffic snarl-ups. This proved a most judicious decision. It also gave us time to browse the town and the choice of a multitude of coffee shops without having to fight for a table. During our window shopping we browsed through what is probably the biggest ‘department’ store in Whitianga. On the 27th October I was flabbergasted to see a whole section of the shop fully decked out in Christmas regalia, trees, lights, tinsel, fairies and all the trimmings. Has the year really gone by that quickly or is someone afraid that November might be cancelled and we’ll fall right into mid- December? I seriously wondered if this was really necessary.

On returning home, almost immediately I noted a TV advert urging me to start thinking about Christmas and telling me where- in this digital and electronic age- I could purchase my ‘fibre-optic’ Christmas tree. Fibre-optic????? Do these people have no shame?? Dr Google soon advised me I had probably a hundred options to choose from, green with all the trimmings or white with all the trimmings, and all clean and crisp. Just plug in and flick the switch and ‘Hey Presto’- instant Joy!

Sidestsepping any religious symbolism and call me old-fashioned but if I want a Christmas tree, I’ll choose a good old pine tree everytime. Certainly not the perfect symmetry of its digitally re-mastered third cousin and certainly its going to begin to drop needles all around the room after a few days but Christmas surely begins with the trek to locate a suitable specimen or, if you live rurally, the hunt, axe on shoulder, to fell your chosen giant. Then comes the homeward haul, the struggle to get him standing upright into a bucket then prop him upright in the corner of the lounge where, for just a short time, he is going to be your centrepiece, your living spirit of Christmas. All the while your whole house can enjoy the fresh scent of pine that no other tree can deliver. That is synonymous with my Christmas as a kid but I guess kids of today might be hard put to even identify the smell of fresh pine. Still a wee while to go yet, of course, but with the pressure life deals to us on a daily basis I was just a little irked at having the weight of Christmas thrust upon me a full two months out from the big day.

Just my opinion


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