Undisturbed family time

18:44, Dec 21 2012
Georgina Hewitt
Camp Christmas: Georgina Hewitt and her family choose to clock off at Christmas, favouring family over Facebook and getting back to basics.

One family who have had enough of the stress and pressure of Christmas made the bold choice to go completely off the grid each year.

No technology, no fancy dinner or presents, not even proper electricity or toilet facilities - may be "crazy talk" for some, but for families like Georgina Hewitt's, it is bliss.

For the past three years the whole family has clocked out of the real world and escaped to a family hut, with the only power being to a generator for the fridge, no hot water, and no cellphone coverage.

"We just thought Christmas was getting way too commercial. It was more about the presents than spending time as a family. So now we're doing that, actually face to face rather than everyone sitting there on their cellphones or looking at pictures on Facebook. It's taking a real break," Ms Hewitt said.

The family don't even do presents, except for the kids. The adults buy $10 gifts which are randomly given out by a motorbike-riding Santa and that's that.

"We have good food, good wine, family and the annual family badminton tournament. You can sit there and read a good book, the kids can run off and play in the bush, there's a tunnel that goes to a swimming hole where we go, it's really relaxing, really low key, just great."

The family plays good old-fashioned board and card games, and connect to the outside world by catching the news on the car radio.

Those who need their creature comforts will stay at the house, a few minutes away.

"Everyone around me is stressing about Christmas but we're just going along as we usually do." Siena Yates


Waikato Times