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Family

Jacinda Ardern's Christmas letter to her mum

Santa gets mail by the sackful, but there's someone closer to home who needs a festive shout out: Jacinda's lovely mum Laurell.

Christmas doesn't have to be all about eating, drinking and opening presents. For many, it's a time to take stock and remember the important people in their lives – and in particular their mums.
Because when it comes to the festive season, it's often our darling mothers who make the whole thing special for families all over New Zealand.
We asked five well-known Kiwis to remember their mums this Christmas by writing them a love letter...
Here's Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern's letter to her mum Laurell.
Mum and daughter before Jacinda flew the coop for uni in Arizona.
Dear Mum,
There's nothing quite like having your own child to make you rethink all of your own behaviour growing up – especially as the holidays roll around.
Thank you for never making me dress up in novelty Christmas wear. Had you forced me or my sister into reindeer antlers or elf outfits, it might have caused me to think twice about doing that to Neve. But you didn't, so Christmas costumes will just have to be one of the many things my child can hold against me.
A jolly baby Jacinda grew up to love kitschy reindeer jumpers.
Thank you for teaching me that it's always, always better to give than to receive. It means I have a genuine love for this time of year and also, because of your teachings on kindness and generosity, I barely flinched when as a 12-year-old I got given a set of coat hangers from Grandma.
Thank you for teaching me patience. Waiting under the tree for Dad to finish shift work before Christmas could start was torture as a little person, but worth it.
Jacinda, Laurell, dad Ross and sister Louise.
Thank you for making every Christmas special no matter what. I still remember the year the family budget was a bit tight, so you painstakingly wrapped every individual piece of stationery Louise and I needed for school and popped it under the tree, and we unwrapped them all one at a time. Christmas lasted forever that year.
But most of all, thanks for always making Christmas about the most important thing in the world, one another. I hope I can teach Neve the same thing once she forgives me for novelty Christmas outfits.
Jacinda

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