With almost weekly trips to Australia and around New Zealand as she resurrects her stellar sporting career, not to mention a two-week stint in Japan with husband Richie for the Rugby World Cup, she’s the first to admit that life lately has been verging on crazy!
So it’s no surprise then, that come Christmas when she, Richie and baby Charlotte head to their beloved Wanaka, she’ll be breathing a big sigh of relief as she finally gets the chance to sit back and relax.
“This year has definitely been a big one,” says the 29-year-old, as she catches up with Woman’s Day for an exclusive festive photo shoot complete with cute puppies. “It’s busy, but that’s the way I like it – life’s an adventure after all! But it’s going to be lovely to take a break and reflect. I can’t wait.”
December 25 will be spent with All Black legend Richie’s family, as well as Gemma’s parents Michelle and Rob Flynn, who will travel down from Tauranga to spend time with their adorable little granddaughter.
And Gemma simply can’t wait. As a huge fan of the festive season, she’s excited about introducing Lottie, as she’s lovingly known, to the traditions from her own happy childhood.
“My mum absolutely loves Christmas, so it was always a really special time for us as a family,” she recalls. “We’d look forward to it for months and on the big day, we’d start with opening our pressies, then all converge for a huge lunch with all the trimmings. Often there would be 35 people at the table and we just loved being with all the cousins.
“Last year we had this beautiful new baby, so it was a quiet day for us, but this time I’m really going to go for it. We’ll be hanging up a stocking, writing a note for Santa on Christmas Eve, and leaving out cookies and milk. And even if she doesn’t quite get it, at least she’ll love all the boxes and wrapping paper!”
But before Christmas comes around, there’s another very important milestone to celebrate – little Charlotte’s first birthday. Gemma is in full-on planning mode for her wee girl’s teddy bears’ picnic themed party, which will be celebrated in her hometown of Tauranga. The birthday party falls on the same weekend as Gemma’s nana Yvonne’s 80th birthday and Charlotte’s christening.
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December 2 2019