Residents all set for break

Most people have started their Christmas shopping before December, a North Harbour street survey reveals.

We asked Orewa visitors what their Christmas plans were, whether they had started shopping and if they enjoy Christmas or find it stressful.

Ian Marsh and son Lake, 10, will be staying home in Waitoki for Christmas celebrations, holidaying in February.

"My wife works through the Christmas period so we will have a break after," Ian says.

The family will be careful with spending on presents this year. "We have to."

Ian says the season is a little more stressful than fun.

Ryan White will be in Vancouver for Christmas.

"I'm just visiting family in Orewa for three weeks now before continuing on my travels," Ryan says.

"Usually I send stuff back from overseas but I don't think I'll be bothering too much this year."

Ryan says Christmas is a happy time and not stressful.

Carla Schoonbeek and daughter Nina from Epsom are staying around home for Christmas then going on holiday in the New Year.

"We don't really have Christmas plans yet, but we all like Christmas," Carla says.

"We usually get little presents for close family," Nina says.

Kerry and daughter Rhiannon, 5, and son Conor, 8, are excited about their Christmas.

The Hatfields Beach family will have nana, granddad and a great-aunt visiting from the United Kingdom.

"It's been three years since we saw them and we are having them over at our house," Kerry says.

The family started shopping on Wednesday.

"We have a budget and we look around for bargains and sales for presents," Kerry says. "It's a fun, happy time of year, everyone is off work and gets a holiday."

One man spoken to says his partner has recently been diagnosed with cancer and will be going through chemotherapy treatment during the holiday. But they will still celebrate themselves.

Sandra Liddle of Dairy Flat will spend Christmas working at the Huapai Family Medical Practice where she is a practice manager.

"As for presents, we've decided Christmas is for children. So we're going to cut back ourselves and get presents for the kids," Sandra says.

"I've so far bought a present for my granddaughter."

Another working throughout the Christmas period is Sandy Howes of Red Beach.

She's a Northern Animal Shelter kennel assistant and will spend the holiday season rehoming dogs left at the shelter.

Sandy will give her 18-year-old son cash.

"It's easiest to give them cash so they can go buy whatever they like," she says.

"Christmas is about the kids and for my two nephews I'll be giving them cash as well. But Christmas is not about presents, it's about family."

Attending various Christmas breakup lunches has kept Gladys Voss of Orewa busy.

"I haven't had the time to buy any Christmas presents yet," she says.

Gladys and husband Walter will drop by Milford a week before Christmas to see their children and grandchildren, before spending a quiet Christmas day at home.

North Harbour News