Sunny sleigh ride

Christmas

I don’t know why it takes me by surprise after all this time, but Christmas has a habit of creeping up and ambushing me. Every year during December I make the same promise to myself – next year I will start earlier. I should know by now that I never do.


This year has been exactly the same, but with the added stress of earlier posting dates. For two weeks solid my life has been on hold while I focussed on nothing but making the post office deadline. I am happy to say that I did it! The ironic thing was that I don’t even know when the last posting dates are/were – they were mostly made-up ones that sounded right in my head at the time. I have to say though that when I took in parcels and packages I didn’t get the normal pitying look from the post office staff or the remarks that these-will-never-make-it-in-time-why-didn’t-you-check-the-last-posting-dates-you-numpty.


Writing cards to everyone at home made me horribly homesick. Especially thinking of our snug house decorated for Christmas, surrounded by the rolling English countryside and friends. Even while sitting in the bright winter sunshine, I got homesick for the misty cold damp dark days of December. I know that being outside at home this time of year is not pleasant but it makes being inside with all the cosiness and twinkly lights very appealing.

I miss my friends and family. I miss the excitiment of the village center being decorated. I miss trying to fit in a hectic schedule and the happiness in everyone about Christmas approaching and the prospect of a peaceful week off work! I miss the Christmas traditions of home – singing carols under the village tree, nativity plays, cold stone churches, mince pies from October onwards, M&S christmas sandwiches, Kirsty and Shane on the radio and the bumper issue of the Radio Times. I would love to introduce Seb to these Christmas experiences. I think this is the most unsettling part of being away from home, especially at this time of year. You have no idea what these less advertised traditions are.



Getting my head round new traditions has been difficult as I long for a cold, damp, cozy, village Christmas. But we are creating our own traditions out here: 
We will find a bright, warm church to belt out the old carols in on Christmas Eve. 

We have chosen and cut down our Christmas tree as approved by Monty. 

I will be making my own mince pies and crackers. 
We are going to use the stockings that I made last year.
We will try and Skype as many people as we can over the holidays.
I will write a yearly letter and post it on the blog!

To further embrace Christmas Stateside, Garnet got me a US star for the Christmas tree. It has pride of place alongside the many Christmas ornaments I have collected over the years, including Jo’s special Monty model!

The actual day looks like being alot of fun. We are sharing it with our expat friends, who are coming over here for a huge feast in the afternoon. The Christmas dinner will feature all the traditions of a UK Christmas dinner: crackers, bread-sauce, too much booze, paper hats, Christmas pudding and the Queens Speech.

So Happy Christmas to you all – maybe next year we’ll be home for Christmas?
Emma
xxx

 

PS It looks like, yet again, a white Christmas will elude me. 

Looking forward to reading your comments!