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a tale of christmas from new zealand: gem adams

Gem Adams, owner of the beautiful Blackbird Goods shares with us her tale of Christmas from the warm New Zealand summer, her family traditions and a few of her favourite carols. 

Christmas in New Zealand...
I live with my husband Nathan, our daughter Margot and pup Frankie in the sunny Hawkes Bay, New Zealand. Christmas is dry, hot, hazy and golden. 

On Christmas traditions...
Christmas eve was always a special time in my family, so we are planning to keep the tradition going. We are always up for a carol service at our local church, followed by new Kahumoe (PJ's), a new pukapuka ( book ) under candlelight, and a lot of spiced cookies. 

Carols...yes or no?
Absolutely! Bob Dylan's - Christmas in the heart is on heavy rotation around December!

Your plans for Christmas Eve/ Day?
Christmas Day we try to have slow start, the lead up is the busiest time of year for us with our shop, so we usually start with a stack of pancakes, coffee and exchange gifts.Then join with Nathans family for a day of cooking, eating, drinking and corn hole. My family is spread out all over the world, so we don't often get Christmas day together, although we are planning a white christmas with my brother and his wife in Upstate NY which will be fun!


Your Christmas menu?
Nathans family are big on food, and everyone has their signature dishes. There's always seafood, there's always a ham, various salads and all the trimmings. After ten years and ten christmas married into the family I have found my place as the mid-morning snack provider (usually a thrown together balsamic onion, goats feta and thyme tart) and a stone fruit torte as a contribution to the overflowing desserts table.

The number one thing on your Christmas wish list?
We are planning all the beach adventures this year, so a The Beach People Umbrella is a must!

Do you have a Christmas tree in your house and any rituals that go along with it?
My birthday falls on the first of December, so it's a birthday, and Christmas tradition is to do our tree hunt that day, then come home, put on the carols and decorate, its such a fun activity and a great way to start the advent!



Any message to other parents or new parents for Christmas?
I tend to have a love, loathe relationship with the time of year, even more so after having Margot. It's kind of built in for us to show love through gifts, and although there is nothing wrong with that, you feel such a pull to go overboard. We try to stick to a simple mantra. Something to wear, something to read, something they want, something they need. 

A special gift you’ll be wrapping up for your little one this year?
Margot has been really into painting lately, so some Stockmar paints and pencils will be under the tree!

A mini playlist of your favourite Christmas carols/ songs…
White Christmas - Elvis Presley
Ill be home for Christmas - Bob Dylan
O come all ye Faithful - Nat King Cole
Silent Night - Johnny Cash
God Rest ye Merry Gentlemen - David Bazan
O come O come Emmanuel - Sufjan Stevens
Have yourself a merry little Christmas - Cat Power

Thank you so much for sharing your summer tale of Christmas with us Gem! Wishing you and your family peace, love and joy this Christmas xx Nb