December 12, 2014

EXPAT LIFE: HOW DO YOU CELEBRATTE CHRISTMAS?


My second Christmas away from home is coming up and the weather is (sometimes) looking like what I'm used to for this time of the year. It's been raining all morning in San Diego because of the storm and it's pretty chilly outside. Perfect weather for wrapping presents, drinking hot chocolate and putting up some festive decorations! Oh and cleaning, but that's not something fun.

Christmas to me was always about wishing for snow (and presents of course when I was younger). We officially had a white Christmas in 2009 (for the first time in thirty! years) and in 2010 when I was studying in London. I still remember that time since I had to take the Eurostar home and the whole country had shut down. But IF it snows in Belgium, it usually does so right before Christmas or right after. The weather gods don't like us very much. And unless we're going to the mountains this year (we aren't) this 'snowless' tradition is not going to change. 

Everything else has pretty much changed however in tiny ways, although the overall theme is the same. Every family has different Christmas traditions just like every country does. We celebrate it on the 24th usually opening presents after dinner and our little family tradition was to watch a Disney movie around midnight. I think this started with Nemo when my cousin came up with the idea and has gone on since then.

Last year I got to experience 'the American way' and the 24th went by preparing food for the 25th when the whole family came over for a Christmas brunch/lunch. San Diego was its old sunny self and the Christmas tree looked pretty exotic with the palm trees from the backyard in the background. And this year... I hope  to have a mixture of both! 

How do you spend Christmas and do you have strange family traditions?

7 comments :

  1. We celebrate on the 24th here in Sweden too! I celebrate Christmas eve with my boyfriends family every year. We do have our own tradition of celebrating at my grandma's on the 25th too. That usually end up being the real deal with all my uncles, aunts, cousins and their partners. We're usually around 20 people and I love it! I'm not a fan of snow but I do wish for a white Christmas. I did celebrate Christmas 2011 in San Diego though, and I enjoyed it very much :) Are you celebrating in California or are you going to celebrate in Belgium? :)

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    1. We used to have a family dinner on the 25th too when my grandparents were still alive and that was always so much fun! I'm celebrating Christmas in California again this year, but I'll be in Belgium for New Year's, splitting my time between two places ;) Is a white Christmas normal where you live or does it depend on where you are in Sweden? Please share some pictures of the snow for me if it does happen ;)

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  2. It's a little different in California, huh? The rain has been nice though!

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    1. I'm loving this rain! So much better than last year ;)

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  3. I will miss my family christmas traditions this year as I can't go home! I can imagine it must be WILDLY diffeent in California.

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    1. I'm sorry you can't go home for Christmas! But you will have a white Christmas, right? ;) Is it very different to celebrate the holidays in Canada?

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  4. I look forward to my family Christmas traditions every year!! :)

    www.ensembledeux.blogspot.com

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