For those of you who are not fans of Christmas, I suggest you look away now. For me this is one of the best times of the year – I love the cooking, the gift buying, decorating the tree and most of all, the festive traditions.Traditions can give us a wonderful sense of anticipation and usually help us to mark time in a positive way. As expats our lives undergo many changes as we jet around the globe and traditions bring a certain sense of continuity to the expat family on the move.
SOMETHING OLD…..SOMETHING NEW
We all have our own idea of what Christmas should be and it’s usually more or less the same every year. In our house we decorate the tree with beloved objects collected from our various overseas postings. They are powerful reminders of happy times in exotic places. We have a favourite Christmas video that we always watch and my granny’s Christmas pudding is always on the menu.
Life away from home, however, may mean that you have to improvise if you are new in town or far from the family and friends that you would normally celebrate with. This gives you an opportunity to create some new traditions and connect to your new community! Since living in Geneva we now start our Christmas season by attending the Escalade parade. As it takes place at night and the weather is usually freezing cold, we do this with a warming cup of vin chaud in our hands, in the spirit of supporting two local traditions at the same time! Wherever you are, by getting involved with local festive traditions and perhaps sharing some of your own with your new friends and neighbours, you will start to feel at home faster.
Anyone for a mince pie?
Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas