03 January 2009

New Year, New Zealand (and the Greedy man's gift exchange)

I hope everyone had a safe and happy New Year!

We spent New Year's eve at our good friends Pinkee and Ricky's home, along with Myra and Jerry's family. We had a blast! That's relatively speaking, of course. Here in New Zealand, I learned that you need to get permission from the Council if you are going to use fireworks. This is because a huge majority of the structures here is made of wood; not to mention the abundance of greenery as well. Couple that with Wellington's reputation for strong winds and you have a recipe for disaster when you add even a bit of a spark in the mix.

But for someone who has celebrated practically all his New Years from the Philippines where fireworks start as early as the sun sets and continues on til the early morning of the first day of the year, meeting the new year with relative silence is something very new. It's a great thing that we were with friends to do the countdown with, ensure that all the lights in the house are turned on, and jump all over the place at the strike of 12.

We even had the customary shower of coins. Incidentally, we were able to bring with us a pouch of Philippine coins, and these found themselves scattered on the floor soon enough and the scramble for the lucky new year coins was mingled with laughter as they realized they were holding coins from our native home.

We had a Hawaiian theme in mind. I just realized though that I left my flowery shirt back in the Philippines and so we settled for origami leis.
On New Year's day, we were invited by good friends Debbie and Bill's family for a day at the beach. So lunchtime found us at Titahi Bay in Porirua, Wellington. It was a clear, sunny day but the wind made it quite chilly indeed. The kids love the sand and the water. We arrived a few minutes before lunch and surprisingly, we were the only ones around but an hour later, the beachgoers started arriving and there was quite a small crowd of kids and surfers about.

The greedy man's gift exchange
I promised to share this nice gimmick for gift sharing which we did last Christmas so here it is.

Everybody joining in the fun agrees to bring a present. Usually a minimum gift value is set. Numbers are then drawn and number 1 gets to pick a present and unwrap in front of everybody. Then, number 2 can either get the gift of number 1, or pick a new present which is opened once more. Number 3 can get either the gift of number 1, number 2, or pick a new gift. And so the process is repeated until the last person either gets a gift from another person or opens the last gift. The person without a gift gets to open the last one. A gift can be taken only 3 times.

Nice huh? It's a lot of fun.

And so goes our first ever Christmas and New Year celebration here in New Zealand. I wish you and your family the best of all there is to come.


  1. Looks like everyone had a terrific time. Happy New Year to you and your family.

  2. Happy New Year sa inyong lahat dyan!

  3. dito tawag diyan, GRAB ME. kasi grab mo yong gift ng iba. jejeje

  4. Meowok: Happy New Year rin sa inyo!

    Cathy: Uy catchy name rin yun ah!


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