There are many events on offer, Auckland-wide, to have you feeling festive.
Tralalala. Escape the the hustle and bustle of end-of-year school events, work parties, shopping and entertaining, gather up your children, a rug and a picnic, some candles in a jar (or the modern equivalent, glow sticks) and get yourself to a park near you for an old-fashioned night of carolling and good cheer.
The big events kick off today with the Waitakere Christmas Festival (Parrs Park, 5pm-9pm). Join a huge turn out of local talent including dancers, singers, the youth choir, all hosted by local favorite Pio Terei. Those in the know head to the Park by 3pm to picnic while they watch the crowd grow. At the other end of town, the Papakura Movie in the Park is at Central Park - the tear-jerker Up starts at 8.30pm.
On Sunday inner-city dwellers can head to Freemans Bay School (97 Wellington St, 7pm) for Ponsonby Carols. Then wander up Franklin Rd to see the sensational lights.
On Thursday Botany Town Centre will entertain the shopping crowds with a free family concert. (Soundshell, opposite Whitcoulls, 6pm-9.30pm). On Friday, finish up a busy week with singing at parks in Browns Bay (Village Green, 7pm) or Three Kings (Three Kings Reserve 7.15pm). Three Kings has local church groups and Auckland City Brass, plus Santa's Gazebo and face-painting for the kids. Pukekohe has community carol singing at the Town Hall at 7pm.
If crowds are not your thing, next Saturday head to Waiheke Island for a day of cycling or lazing on the beach, and end the day at Little Oneroa Reserve with singing and performances from the local schools, choral society and the V12 Men's Choir (starts 6pm). Or, the same night, grab the kids a picnic dinner and enjoy Christmas past at the Howick Historic Village (6pm-9pm adults $14, kids $7). Listen to Christmas music, see cottages with stories of traditional Christmases and join villagers in games of yesteryear.
But if you love the buzz of Auckland's biggest party, the Coca-Cola Christmas in the Park is the happiest, most magical, musical extravaganza on the city calendar (next Saturday, 7 .30pm). Or, for a different kind of big, St Paul's Anglican church in Symonds St has gifted the city Carols by Glowstick, a free event at Vector Arena (next Sunday, 6pm, free but book tickets through Ticketek). Wave one of 10,000 multi-coloured glowsticks to share the spirit of the season with host Petra Bagust, enjoy Christmas carols and the Christmas story and performances (www.stpauls.org.nz).
In your local areas, next Sunday has Carols by Spiderlight in Avondale (Avondale Town Square, 7pm) with a rousing sing-along with the Salvation Army Band, church groups and great singers. Local schools are leading the carols in St Heliers (Vellenoweth Green, 6.30pm) with the glee-style bonus of the St Heliers School cheerleaders (and more visits from the guy in a red suit) while Marlborough Park is the site for Glenfield's Singalong (7.30pm).
You can't get more Kiwiana than Christmas at the beach, so catch midweek carols by the sea at Maraetai Beach Park (Tuesday December 14, 6.30pm), Windsor Reserve, Devonport (Thursday December 16, 7.45pm) or at Milford Beach Reserve (Friday December 17 7.30pm).
Sing carols among the birds at Tui Park, Beach Haven (Saturday December 18, 8pm) or at the school hall in Greenhithe (Sunday December 19, 5pm). South of the bridge are brass bands with the carols at Potters Park, Balmoral (Sunday December 19, 7pm) or at historic Stockade Hill, Howick (Sunday December 19, 8pm).
If you prefer classical music, you can listen to some superb Christmas music at these events.
* Next Saturday head into the city for the traditional sounds of brass from Trusts Waitakere Brass Band and the Salvation Army Auckland Fellowship Band (Auckland Citadel of the Salvation Army, 369 Queen St, Auckland, 7:30pm, tickets $10)
* Or visit the Town Hall for the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra with Paul Goodwin conducting featuring soprano Aivale Cole and the Choir of Holy Trinity Cathedral Auckland (7.30pm, tickets through The Edge).
* The Holy Trinity Cathedral is the scene for two concerts by the APO, with soprano Jenny Wollerman, choirs and well-loved music from Haydn and Vivaldi (Friday, 7.30pm, next Sunday, 3pm. For tickets ph (09) 623 1052.
* On the final weekend before Christmas the Town Hall is again the place to be, with the Musica Sacra choir, the APO brass ensemble and the new Town Hall organ in action. Saturday December 18, 7pm, $35.