Festive smestive?


Is Queenstown content with just eating, drinking and being merry at the festive time of year? 

Or is the dearth of decorations a sign of our lack of Christmas spirit? 

Each year at Christmas time, the resort has a fairly lacklustre approach to acknowledging it with decorations. The only memorable symbol is the solitary star on top of the Wellingtonian tree next to council’s offices. 

Even Wanaka does it better than we do, with garlands on street lamps and a decorated tree. But what does the community want? 

Should Queenstown Lakes District Council give us a Christmas?

The Grinch

So here it is Merry Christmas, everybody’s having fun… 

This is a lyric from glam rock band Slade’s 1973 hit Merry Christmas Everybody. 

It is instantly recognisable to all English people. This is because from late October until midnight on 
December 25th it is played on every radio station and in every shop, pub and supermarket on a continuous loop. 

It is Christmas. It is burned into our brains. If you are from England and reading this you will be humming the tune, and you will hate me for it. 

This is the problem with Christmas in the UK. It’s the same every year and you can’t escape – it’s everywhere. 

Every town centre is festooned in gaudy decorations. Every shop window has fake snow spray painted in the corners. Every advert features Santa. Every TV show is a Christmas special. 

It’s suffocating, chintzy, schmaltzy and ultimately horrific. And it’s mostly so we buy more stuff. 

So please don’t bring Christmas cheer here, because I’m now having fun. 

Englishman Paul Taylor is a Mountain Scene journalist



Santa’s little helper

Queenstown Lakes District Council should bring some Christmas cheer to locals. 

Back in the 1990s, then-councillor Margaret McHugh arranged to buy Dunedin City Council’s festive displays to hang them in the resort. 

We used to have the town beautifully decorated. 

There were garlands that went across the mall, all sorts of things. The people who have been in town for a long time will remember. The council must still have them in storage somewhere. 

I think it’s terrible for people coming in from overseas and there’s not a Christmas thing to be seen. Children expect to see that sort of stuff. 

The council should do something about it, I think. 

It would be awful if the council had dumped them. I am mindful of the cost but if the decorations were still in storage then it wouldn’t cost a lot of money to put them up. 

Maybe the local businesses could contribute, as they did the last time. It would bring more people to town. 

Betty Brown is a longtime Queenstowner

Mayor’s festive spirit

CHRISTMAS is more than “sparkly lights and tinsel”, Queenstown’s mayor says. 

Vanessa van Uden believes festive spirit is more important than decorations – and says the Summerdaze Summer Festival, providing fun for families during January, is what town really needs. 

“It is more about the spirit than putting up some sparkly lights and tinsel. 

“What the council does do is Summerdaze Festival. 

“For me that’s what the holidays are about; the chance for families to relax and go out and do activities after what has been a very busy, difficult year.” 

Van Uden says in trying economic times, the council must cut its cloth accordingly. 

“We have to be responsible about how we spend other people’s money.” 

But businesses and the community can help make Queenstown more Christmassy, she says.


What do you think about the Christmas spirit in Queenstown?