Christmas means many different things to different people but at the heart of every Kiwi Christmas is quality time spent with family and friends. This year things could look a little different, but the Papakura Business Association is determined that it will still be a Christmas to remember for all who visit the wonderful town.
Tracy Shackleton, the Town centre Manager and her fantastic team have not stopped dreaming up all manner of Christmas surprises that adhere to the appropriate health and safety level guidelines. This she says, will ensure everyone will enjoy a Christmas they will never forget when they visit Papakura and its vast array of retailers.
“We have had to think creatively this year, to make sure we capture the essence of Christmas and still adhering to health and safety protocols. Like many other towns, we had to make an early decision to cancel the Rotary Santa Parade, but we have made sure that Santa is available to kids and parents alike in different ways. Things are changing at such a rapid pace at the moment, there is very little normality; but it is important for everyone, our young kids especially that some things like Santa remain at Christmas time.”
With his physical presence still dependant on levels, Santa’s Mailbox by the Library is a great way for families to ensure that their messages to the Big Man are received. All you have to do, is download the template for the letter from www.papakura.co.nz, print it out and let the kids fill it in. Pop it in the mail box in the library foyer and all being well, after he has answered them all, levels will allow the Santa Photo Grotto to run as normal (albeit with socially distancing protocols) from the 16th to 23rd of December for free photos with Santa from 11am to 3pm every day apart from Sunday 19th December. There will also be a scavenger hunt running in participating retailers and locations. A fun, family activity where baubles are hidden in shop windows and at different Papakura locations. Write down all their locations, and when you have finished put your entry form into the entry box at one of the locations with a red bauble to go into win lots of Papakura vouchers. Forms will be available at www.papakura.co.nz
The town has already begun to be decked out for the season, with retailers open and stocked with everything you need and more for the holidays, whether you are having a mystery Santa BBQ at home with friends or planning to escape the confines of Auckland and hit the road for long overdue family reunions armed with the contents of every retail outlet you can get to.
“Let’s face it, it’s been a challenging year for all of us, but here in Papakura we are determined to make sure that when you shop, eat or work in Papakura you will know that Christmas is here and it is a time to celebrate. Our retailers have struggled this year, but they have pulled out all the stops, working hard to make sure they can celebrate with everyone by decorating their shops to reflect the mood of our town, one of unity, supporting local and celebration. The streets are lined with Christmas Flags and red bows, there are Christmas swags under the verandahs, lights will sparkle, the Stars are back around centre court and our centrepoint, the big tree, will be bigger and brighter than ever.”
Something that has been missing in our lives due to recent lockdowns is the opportunity to go and browse and buy inside shops and take a well-earned breather at a café or restaurant afterwards.. With retailers having only recently been allowed to open, Papakura is looking forward to welcoming everyone for a special late-night shopping evening that has been months in the planning. On Thursday December 9th, all of Papakura will be open for one special evening. A late night of festival fun. From 5-7pm there will be specials, entertainment, all the retailers will be open late and food outlets will be putting on special ‘shopping snacks’ to nourish you at the end of your shopping bonanza. Mark this date in your diary, to make sure you get all your Christmas shopping done in one place, it is not one to be missed. Bring all the family and your friends! With all the specials and festive atmosphere, and the chance to eat or takeout out once again, it might well make up for all those lost shopping trips of the last few months.
And if that isn’t enough to convince you that Papakura is THE place to check out for your Christmas shopping this December, there is always the $1000 shopping draw! For every $20 you spend at a retailer in Papakura in December, pop your name and contact details on the back of your receipt, put it in the entry box in the library foyer before December 23rd and go into the draw to win $1000 worth of vouchers to spend in Papakura. So, what are you waiting for? Get out there and celebrate Christmas and the return of shopping in Papakura.