1 December 2014

The Festive Season: the December Travel Linkup

I used to be ambivalent about Christmas. Sure, it's a cool holiday where everyone is weirdly a little nicer than usual, but I was always a Birthday girl, and loved spoiling everyone I loved on their Birthday. It's a little more special, y'know.

Well, all that changed when I decided to become an expat. Whenever a life change is made, you know that you'll change in many ways, but sometimes it's the little changes that surprise you the most. Maybe it's the cold - and sometimes snow (it's normally 30 degrees C in New Zealand on Christmas Day and not raining if you're lucky), maybe it's the Christmas cake, possibly the Holly and the Ivy draped over store lintels, maybe it's hearing the Robins chirruping in the garden, I don't know.

Christmas - The Festive Season: the December Travel Linkup

But, as time has gone by I've discovered an inner festive-elf that delights in fairy-lights, delves into the Christmas decoration box as soon as humanly possible (I'm usually only allowed to start putting them up on the 1st of December by my Grinch) and revel in the new and old traditions that we've established over the years.

- Discuss Argue about the colour scheme for decorating the tree and have complex discussions about how well we felt the last few years went!

- Hauling a Christmas Tree on public transport. This is a task generally carried out by the lovely Mr Kiwi as we don't have a car, but is always rewarded with warm Christmas Mince Pies and the look of delight on my face (so I'm told).

- Decorating said tree with all the ornaments we've collected over the years, usually accompanied by mulled cider and reminiscing about the escapades usually involved with getting them.

- Promise myself I'll participate in 'Stir Up Sunday', the day in November that Christmas cakes are traditionally made then fed whiskey until Christmas, before realising the date has already passed.

Christmas - The Festive Season: the December Travel Linkup

- Many, many nights with friends and family celebrating a little too much...

- Keeping the cat away from the dangling temptations that are shiny, low hanging baubles.

- Many, many days recovering from too much celebration, and dragging Mr Kiwi to all the new events I've found in London (such as the Covent Garden Christmas Pudding Race or SantaCon).

- Spread a little festive cheer to those less fortunate in any small way I can.

Christmas - The Festive Season: the December Travel Linkup
I am not in this photo, just FYI...
- Write our Christmas Cards and deciding whether to go with a British or Kiwi set that year.

- Moaning about all of the pine needles from the Christmas Tree that end up on the carpet despite assurances from the salesmen that there won't be any. Every year.

- Listen to Christmas Carols ad nauseum whilst trying to restrict the number of Mud and Slade carols Mr Kiwi delights in playing.

- Make Jaffa Slice & try to resist the siren call whilst it sits in the fridge.

 Christmas - The Festive Season: the December Travel Linkup

- Give into that siren call and feel guilty before going 'oh, well, it's Christmas!'.

- Squeal every single time I discover a Christmas Card on our doorstep whilst internally feeling naughty about the recycling.

- Treasure how lucky we all are in so many ways.

- Decide whether Christmas Day will be a dress-up delicious dinner with family, or a PJ day at home watching all the Christmas specials on TV (often moaning about them.... If the former, ask if I can wear my Christmas Jumper.

 Christmas - The Festive Season: the December Travel Linkup

- Take private bets on whether it will be a white Christmas, and muse on the fact that even though New Zealand Christmases are in Summer we still often have snow scenes on our cards.

- Go to a festive afternoon tea - one year I even threw my own as a special treat.

- Lengthy Skype calls with my family on Christmas Eve and opening a present (because most things (birthdays, anniversarys, Christmas Day) last 36 hours when you're an expat from the other side of the world)

Christmas - The Festive Season: the December Travel Linkup
- Laugh guiltily at the terrible Christmas cracker jokes.

- Giggle on Christmas day whilst we watch our family drown their Turkey in gravy because they actually don't like it. Snicker at pigs in blankets. Eat too many canapes. Be undecided as to Christmas Pudding or my Sister-in-laws aMAzing pavlova.

- Add a new tradition every year - this year it was being invitied by some of my kind American friends to a couple of expat Thanksgivings. Such an epic holiday!

Christmas - The Festive Season: the December Travel Linkup

London celebrates Christmas and the festive season wonderfully. December, in England's capital, is encrusted with beautiful street light displays, pine bough covered store fronts, carollers echoing on train station platforms and the smell of mulled wine seductively wafting from open pub doors full of chatter. Maybe that was the secret.

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Ps. we brainstormed a few extra ideas if you're a little stuck -

Your favourite Local traditions vs. your favourite Home traditions 
Best costumes 
Adopting xxxxx (Thanksgiving) as a xxxxx (Kiwi)
Best Christmas Present    
Worst Christmas (if the parent's don't read your blog) 
Must do list in xxxxx
Favourite Christmas food

34 comments :

  1. Really enjoyed this post! I feel ya on trying to get the tree on public transport because of lack of car. Last year we carried it home about 2 miles! I've never heard of Jaffa cake/slice before so I'm going to have to investigate a little :)

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  2. It's a really fun link up and I'm looking forward to reading everyone's posts :)

    Lots of love,
    Angie

    SilverSpoon London

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  3. Just love this time of the year! My parents have been busy decorating the house and sending me pictures, I can´t wait to be home for the holidays!

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  4. I love your new traditions!! I so badly wanted to write about my worst xmas ever - which involved a nasty stomach bug that we kept hidden in a mission not to offend anyone and was so bad it was comical but tis the season to be friendly and cheerful, which your post sums up perfectly. Love the sniggering at pigs in blankets... ;-)

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  5. consider yourself a brit - you've got the spirit of our quirks down to a T here!

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  6. Thrilled to be able to join in on one of your linkups finally!!!! And it was just today that I tried to have a talk about Christmas themes with my husband too! He looked at me and gave me such a filthy look. In his defence, we'd been in Abu Dhabi for about 14 hours and what colours we are theming our house with for Christmas possibly isn't at the forefront of our concerns right now. But still...its nice to be organised!!! Enjoy the wonderful festive month!!!

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  7. I can see Mr Kiwi dragging that darn Christmas Tree on the public transport while you discuss colour schemes with him - you should break up that tree journey with a church Emma really as I know how much Mr Kiwi loves a good church ;-) xx

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  8. I love your breakdown of your Christmas, it sounds madly fun. Ps I was only just thinking today when the BF and I will be doing on Skype call this year to wish everyone a merry Xmas. don't want to get on too late after too many glasses nor too early xx

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  9. Ahh I'm definitely gonna take part this month, I'm loving all these festive posts too much! Think I'm gonna do a post about what Christmas was like as a expat living in Aus!

    C x
    Lux Life Blog

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  10. Well, now I'm really in the Christmas spirit! :) We're getting our tree this weekend. First time we've ever had a real one! Yay!

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  11. Such a total wonderful list of Christmas cheer!!! In our 6 years together Fredrik and I have only had a tree once and I cannot wait till we have one again since decorating it always so special.

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  12. Thank god Mr Kiwi drags the tree on the public transport ;) You got the good end of the stick! Thanks for having me as a cohost, I love Christmas!!!!! xx

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  13. I now want an ornament of Santa in flip flops. (And I wish you were in that photo FYI!)

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  14. Love it! And I think New Zealand doesn't want to feel left out with the no snow situation, but santa surely loved it there most because he gets to visit the beach.

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  15. Can't believe it's Christmas time already. It's strange after 5 years of winter Christmas's now I'm back to summer ones and it doesn't even feel like Christmas! Hope you have a lovely one, will try be more up with the linkups next month!

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  16. We weren't going to as I'm going home this year, but a small one accidentally 'fell' into my bag on the way home the other day - oops!

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  17. It's funny how you just adapt sometimes isn't it!

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  18. They are such a fabulous collection this month!

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  19. Oh, that's so wonderful that you're able to go home!

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  20. That needs to be your next post (though by the time you see this I suspect you'll be a little distracted...!)

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  21. It's so wonderful to be seeing you here! You should definitely go with pink & gold - that's my vote!

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  22. I'd love to see the look on the vicar's face...!

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  23. It is usually pretty nuts... Yep, it's a rather thin line you have to skate Skype-wise!

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  24. I adored your blogpost - what fabulous memories!

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  25. Amazing!! The smell for me is Christmas incarnated.

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  26. It wouldn't be Christmas without a tree for me - silly I know! We start every December going 'oh, we don't need a Christmas tree this year' and ultimately have one by mid-month... :D

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  27. Next year Jess, we'll have to submit a blogger team...

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  28. Thank you for cohosting!! We're loving all of the Christmas cheer! x

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  29. Yeah, he gets to warm his toes properly before his long, long evening of work!

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  30. So weird, isn't it! It turns out I'll be home this year, so I'm going to have a topsy turvy one as well!!

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  31. I am so glad Christmas has grown on you! I always loved this time of year, but I think I appreciate it now that I am a bit older because it lets me take a break from everyday life and just have fun! I love that you have some traditions that you keep and others that you mix up .. keeps things interesting :)

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  32. Thanks Emma! I loved writing it!


    C x

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