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Coast radio host Jason Reeves on his favourite Christmas childhood memories

The radio host loves getting into the spirit.

By Fleur Guthrie
As a kid growing up in Hawke's Bay, broadcaster Jason Reeves remembers Christmas being the most magical time.
His mum Bev would eagerly stencil snowflakes on the windows and pull out the special Christmas tablecloth (which still makes an appearance today), while his nana made "truffles", which were marshmallows dipped in coconut.
"Then on Christmas Eve, the sky would go orange and pink as the sun set, and my parents would tell us that was Rudolph's nose lighting up the sky, so we'd better hurry into bed. I also use that gem on my kids now!" laughs the dad of sons Max, 10, and Olly, eight.
Jason and the family with Chase star Shaun, aka the Dark Destroyer.
Jason has found that his Coast breakfast show co-host Toni Street's enthusiasm for festive decorating has also rubbed off on him.
"Toni is full-on – she's got 18 Christmas trees and 48 decorations on one table," he jokes, "so I'm always nervous to invite her around to ours at Christmastime because she'll judge our decorating – in the nicest way, of course!
"But seriously, I love getting into the spirit of things too. We decorate the outside of our house in lights and people drive out to our community in Kumeu to do a walk-around."
As he reflects on the year that was, Jason reckons it's little things that have been the big things for him. "After Cyclone Gabrielle hit, I went down to see my parents and my sister's family in Hawke's Bay, and just being able to hug them again – after everything everyone there had been through – meant so much."
The radio star was then invited to emcee a fundraiser in the region with British TV personality Shaun Wallace from The Chase.
"Flying in to my hometown, we saw all the scars on the hills and the damage that was done," recalls Jason. "Shaun went silent. He really got a sense of why we were there, and was so gracious and generous with his time.
"I gave him a Hawke's Bay Magpies rugby jersey and since he's been back in London, he's posted videos on social media wearing it."
Now as Jason, 47, wife Louise, 45, and their sons prepare to leave out a note and beer for Santa, plus carrots for the reindeer, he's looking forward to "taking a moment to exhale" with extended family on December 25. "Even if it's just watching the King's message on TV together or nodding off with my dad John during the afternoon lull, I know how lucky I am."
  • undefined: Fleur Guthrie

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