I just managed to find a spare day in the hurly-burly lead up to Christmas to travel into Wellington to view Kirkcaldie and Stains wonderful Christmas Shop. My friend Dot was keen to come too, and we travelled into the big city by train, courtesy of our Gold Cards. These handy little cards enable the oldies to travel free on non peak bus and train services.
The Christmas Shop is quite the Wellington institution at this time of year, and has been for many years. I always like to go and have a look, and get immersed in all the Christmas decorations, singing Santas, colour coordinated decorated trees, and usually come away with a little something.
The shop wasn’t too crowded, but there were still plenty of kids and their Mums having a good look at the the glittering baubles. A train set was safely behind a glass barrier to keep the small fingers away. The children’s little faces were pressed up to the glass watching as the train tootled around the track.
There was a group of kids clustered around a small Santa, having the time of their lives. Turned out he was a Chatter Santa, and he repeated everything that was said to him, even the giggles. Once the kids had moved on and left the way clear, we could have our own turn. Dot bent down low so she could have a conversation with Chatter Santa. I was smitten too – I just had to purchase one to take home.
With so much to see, we had to walk around the shop several times. There is always a selection of New Zealand inspired ornaments, from koru, silver ferns, and pohutakawa blossoms to hang on the tree. Then there are surfing Santas, bungy jumping sheep, and such-like, just the sort of thing to send to a home sick Kiwi living overseas.
I love to have lunch at Kirk’s cafe, and I suggested to Dot that we beat the lunch time crowd and get there early. Everyone else obviously had the same idea, as the place was packed. Luckily we found a table and ate our nicely presented lunches as we watched the never ending stream of customers file through the cafe. It always is a busy place, and the Santas hanging from the ceiling gave it a nice festive feel as the chattering customers ate their lunches.
With our shopping done, we slowly walked back down to the station, stopping off at John’s Kitchen in Lambton Quay for some of their delicious Baklava for dessert. That should sweeten Robin up when I show him what I had purchased.