Mid-winter family fun at the library

I love having Christmas in summer. The days are long, the berries and watermelons are ripe, and the blue sky and warm breeze makes being outside in the open air 100% absolutely the best way to spend a day. 

But some parts of Christmas just need to happen in winter.

Like savouring a mug of steaming hot chocolate, opens a new window in pyjamas by the fire. Or enjoying a huge cooked Christmas roast, opens a new window. Or wearing ugly Christmas jumpers (or jerseys, as we call them here in New Zealand) *. All those things you can't do in December in Aotearoa.

Try to light a fire for hot chocolate, and you might start a bush-fire in our drought-stricken countryside.

Eat a massive, old-fashioned Christmas dinner, and you'll be beached as on the beach, bro'.

And if you convince yourself that that polyester Christmas jersey with pompoms and bells and Christmas elves galore would be the perfect outfit for the Christmas work do, then you, you fine person, are going to have melted into a red and green pile of sweat within the first thirty minutes. Our New Zealand climate just is not made for polyester jerseys in the height of summer. 

So unless we move to the Northern hemisphere, or climate change, opens a new window continues to impact on our temperatures and forecasts, we're just going to need to view the Christmas 'Winter Wonderland' of fairy tales and legend through Christmas cards, movies, opens a new window, and Facebook photos of friends and family who are off on their OE.

But not anymore! These July school holidays, Christchurch City Libraries is inviting you to come and celebrate Mid-Winter Christmas, opens a new window. There's something for everyone in the family, and everything - just like presents on Christmas morning - is free!

Come and join us for a Christmas story, opens a new window and to make pomanders, those old-fashioned Christmas decorations of yore, at our Ghost of Christmas Past sessions for adults. Once the story reading is finished, enjoy chatting to friends while you decorate oranges to make a sweet-smelling decoration that will be ready just in time for Christmas (the December one). 

Bring the whole family along for stories, crafts, and activities at Te Hāpua's Mid-Winter Christmas First Friday Whānau Fun Night, aimed at 5-12 year olds and their families, and Upper Riccarton's Mid-Winter Stories and Crafts, or at the Mid-Winter Family Fun sessions on the first Saturday (Parklands) and second Sunday of the month (New Brighton). Hapori | Level 1 Tūranga has a Mid-Winter Christmas theme for their Friday Whānau Fun Night on 26 July (6-7pm). If you're in a creative or 'makey' mood, Te Hāpua: Halswell Centre and Upper Riccarton will both be running a Mid-Winter Makerspace, so come and make and tinker - who knows what you might make?!

Finally, my favourite part of mid-winter Christmas. The jumpers. The ugly, Ugly Christmas Jumpers. You can make your own! Open to adults and teens (13 years and older), we'll be running special Ugly Christmas Jumper, opens a new window crafting sessions and fashion shows at Te Hāpua: Halswell Centre and Upper Riccarton. Bring along a jumper, tshirt, top, etc that you think could use some Christmas bling, and we'll provide the bits to go on it. Who knows? Your creation could win the prestigious 'Best Ugly Christmas Jumper' trophy, a movie voucher, lollies, or more! Places are limited for these sessions, so make sure to book.

Winter really is a great time to hang out with friends and family, take time for yourself to relax and be creative, and Mid-winter Christmas gives you an opportunity to do it all in the spirit of a time of happiness, friendliness, and jollity. We look forward to seeing you at some of our events. For more information or for bookings, please call 941-7923, or check out our events calendar.

  • The Ghost of Christmas Past: Pomanders and Stories for Adults: Friday 5 July, 2-3.30pm (Te Hāpua:Halswell Centre); Tuesday 16 July, 10-11am (Upper Riccarton)
  • Mid-Winter Christmas First Friday Whānau Fun Night: Friday 5 July, 5-6pm (Te Hāpua: Halswell Centre - BYO covered travel mug for Christmas hot chocolate!)
  • Mid-Winter Makerspace: Saturday 6 July, 1.30-3pm (Te Hāpua: Halswell Centre); Thursday 18 July, 2-4pm (Upper Riccarton - BYO covered travel mug for hot chocolate!)
  • Mid-Winter Stories and Crafts: Saturday 20 July, 10am-2pm (Upper Riccarton)
  • Mid-Winter Family Fun: first Saturday of the month, 11am-3pm (Parklands); second Sunday of the month, 11am-3pm (New Brighton)
  • Ugly Christmas Jumpers for 13years+: Monday 8 July, 2-4pm (Te Hāpua: Halswell Centre); Wednesday 17 July, 10am-12pm (Upper Riccarton). Bookings required. 
  • Mid-Winter Christmas Fourth Friday Whānau Fun Night: Friday 26 July 6pm to 7pm. Hapori | Level 1, Tūranga.

* What do you call a kangaroo in a woollen jersey? A jumper! ... Cringey dad-jokes are just the best, aren't they? I'm sure jokes have to score 11 out of 10 on the 'cringe' scale to get put into Christmas crackers!