For hundreds of years, Christmas festivities have been depicted as mid-winter, stay-inside-and-keep-warm affairs. Yet for Southern Hemisphere countries like New Zealand, such an image could not be further from the truth...
Christmas in New Zealand is a summer celebration, with all the lifestyle opportunities the season brings, whether it's heading to the beach or relaxing in the garden at home. The long, lazy days of sunshine offer a perfect setting for this very special occasion, as friends, families and neighbours gather in the spirit of love, warmth and goodwill.
For Kiwis throughout the country, no Christmas is complete without food - and plenty of it! And while many still indulge in traditional 'winter' fare such as roast turkey and plum pudding, more and more are choosing to dine on cuisine appropriate for the season and our muiltcultural identity.
Kiwi Christmas feasts of today are likely to be barbecues and salads followed by one of our favourite desserts - the delectable fluffy pavlova, served with whipped cream and strawberries - or even a 'hāngī' a traditional Māori earth oven where food is slowly steamed among hot rocks.
Eaten indoors or out, hot or cold, Christmas fare is a welcomed part of our Christmas tradition; another way to share this important time of the year with those we love.
Food is just one of the essentials of a true Kiwi Chrtistmas - our first day covers linked with one of the others: the Christmas tree, decorated in style and surrounded by gifts. The first day covers were available with both the gummed and the self-adhesive stamps attached.
Always a popular collector's item, our Christmas stamps offered plenty of variety - five gummed stamps, three self-adhesive stamps, two varieties of stamp booklets and a handy 100-stamp dispenser for when you posted your Christmas cards and gifts. You could also order a 50-stamp sheet of the 90c self-adhesive stamp.
Product Listing for 2004 Christmas Fare
Click on image to enlarge.
|Date of issue:||4 October 2004|
|Number of stamps:||Eight|
|Denominations and designs:||45c Traditional Feast (gummed and self-adhesive), 90c Hāngī (gummed and self-adhesive), $1.00 Christmas Cake (self-adhesive only), $1.35 Barbecue, $1.50 Picnic, $2.00 Dessert|
|Designer:||Paul Hooker, Auckland|
|Printer and process:||Southerm Colour Print, Dunedin by offset lithography|
|Number of colours:||Four process colours|
|Stamp size and format:||Gummed: 35mm x 35mm; Self-adhesive: 25mm x 30mm (vertical)|
|Paper type:||Gummed: Tullis Russell 104gsm red phosphor stamp paper; Self-adhesive: Avery Dennison PS1 Non DC self-adhesive stamp paper|
|Stamps per sheet:||Gummed: 50; Self-adhesive: 45c 100, 90c 50|
|Perforation gauge:||Gummed: 14.25; Self-adhesive: diecut|
|Special blocks:||Plate/imprint blocks could be obtained by purchasing at least six stamps from a sheet. Barcode, value blocks and logo blocks could be obtained by purchasing at least two stamps from a sheet. Barcode blocks were available in both A and B formats.|
|Period of sale:||These stamps remained on sale until 3 October 2005.|