The traditional Kiwi Christmas is on the march as families dig deep to buy the ultimate cheer.
Television's controversial Lionman, Craig Busch, has put together an African safari called Christmas with the Lionman. It includes dinner, bed and breakfast, an elephant experience and lions and big cat interactions. It costs $5,600, plus airfares.
For those seeking a Northern Hemisphere experience without leaving town, Snowplanet, an indoor ski slope in North Auckland, has a white Christmas, complete with a visit from Santa. A three-course buffet is followed by skiing, snowboarding and snow-tubing. Dinner costs $68 for an adult, $35 for a child, plus passes and hire.
That's small change compared to the Christmas spread at Auckland's Langham Hotel. Adults pay $245, and $165 for children, to feast on turkey, ham, crayfish, wagyu beef, oysters, venison, truffled sausages, Christmas pies, pudding and fine wines.
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If the budget doesn't stretch too far, there's a Satsanga at 10am on Christmas Day. The "joyous gathering of like minds" is at the Balanced Living Centre in Glen Eden, Auckland. The meditation, chanting and spiritual insights are open to all, regardless of religion.
Angela Main says people can get caught up with the material side of things at Christmas, which can cause a lot of stress and people can often lose connection with themselves and with the deeper essence and meaning of Christmas. Book by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.