After a particularly busy time leading up to the local board elections and thereafter, the newly elected Howick Local Board chair, Damian Light looks forward to spending time with his whānau, relaxing and generous helpings of Christmas ham— as well as the mince tarts that his partner Josh Harding doesn’t fancy! Light finds joy in the tradition of a Christmas Street Party with his neighbours, sharing multicultural food, warm smiles and good cheer.
How will you celebrate Christmas this year?
This year we’re heading down South, the week before Christmas to spend the weekend with my sister and her family who live in Canterbury.
My whole whānau is heading down – four brothers, mum, dad, partners, nieces, and nephews. Together with my sister, her husband, and kids, it’ll be a massive family gathering. Really looking forward to it, it’ll be fun (and a bit chaotic)!
Best Christmas gift?
In my early teens my parents gave me a membership to the Auckland Astronomical Society, which opened up the universe for me and kicked off a lifelong love of space and astronomy.
There are so many incredible wonders to see, and it helps put things in perspective.
Christmas at home or away?
With most of our family here, we stay in Auckland for Christmas. We love east Auckland over summer so wouldn’t miss it!
Favourite Christmas menu?
Cannot go past the Christmas ham! We all overeat during the festive period and ham is definitely one of the main contributors in our household. By early
January we’ve had our fill and need a break, but every Christmas ham is always back on the menu!
I also love Christmas mince tarts—Josh isn’t a fan so I end up demolishing a packet (or two) by myself.
Favourite Christmas tradition?
In our little street in Northpark Botany we have a Christmas Street Party where all the neighbours join in celebrating the year. One of our neighbours started it a few years ago and we’ve stuck with it. Given the multicultural residents in our street, this leads to a wide range of food, shared, and enjoyed together. We’re fortunate to live on a street where most residents know each other by name and celebrating the end of the year together helps keep us connected, especially given the challenges of the last few years.
More recently many of the residents in our street have started putting up lights too – not as impressive as some of the more established displays, but every year we add to it.
All I want for Christmas is?
Time to catch up with family and friends—it’s been a particularly busy year and I’m really looking forward to having some time to just catch up and relax.