Hamilton and Wellington got their Christmas roasting last year, but this year showers threaten to put a dampener on the big day in most parts of the country.
The adage of you can't beat Wellington on a good day rang true for 2012, with the high of 28.6 degrees Celsius making the capital Christmas the hottest in New Zealand in the last decade, Niwa says.
Hamilton also enjoyed its hottest Christmas Day in a decade when it made 26.2C.
The hottest Christmas for other main centres was 2009 when Dunedin hit 28.1C, Tauranga 24C, and Auckland 24.2C.
Christchurch's Christmas roasting was in 2005 when temperatures peaked at 27.6C.
Unfortunately the outlook for Wednesday is not so promising with sporadic showers throughout the country.
A low in the Tasman Sea that extends back towards Australia, is due to cross the country on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day bringing rain, followed by a few showers.
The best of the centres will probably be Tauranga, with MetService predicting morning rain clearing early and a high of 24C.
Auckland and Hamilton are in for rain followed by showers and a high of 22C.
Wellington and Christchurch will have fine spells and a few showers, with a high of 22C, while Dunedin is in for a cold one with occasional showers, a cool southwesterly and a high of 17C.
By Boxing Day another ridge of high pressure is expected to cover the country bringing back fine, sunny weather in most places.
Christmas Day temperature records:
Auckland - 24.2C in 2009
Tauranga - 24C in 2008, 2009
Hamilton - 26.2C in 2012
Wellington - 28.6C in 2012
Christchurch - 27.6C in 2005
Dunedin - 28.1C in 2009
- © Fairfax NZ News