In recent years, my Christmas traditions have looked very different from what I grew up with.
I was born and raised in rural England, and Christmas was predominantly spent with family, eating ‘After Eights’ (a type of thin mint), playing Scrabble, and warming up from the cold nights in front of the fire.
Now, in great contrast to the life I once knew I live on the Sunshine Coast of Australia where it seems some Christmas’s almost impossible to escape the heat. I am also now married to an American (in Australia, it’s weird I know), so the traditions we keep & are creating tend to be a mix of our three combined cultures. Usually our days plays out a little something like this…Our Christmas mornings are spent Face-timing family from our respective countries & opening gifts ‘with them’. Every year we attempt to make ‘Christmas Bread’ aka cinnamon rolls (with varying degrees of success) which comes from the Northern American side of the family. We also normally spend the day with close friends and their families who kindly open up their homes & traditions to include us in their Christmas.
It’s bittersweet being away from family in this time, but never in all the years that we have been here have we ever felt alone at Christmas, and for that I feel very blessed. We also now have the rare opportunity to start completely new Christmas traditions for ourselves without the pressure of being a part of anyone else’s, and for two people who literally moved to the other side of the world to their families (not that we don’t love them all!!) I think we have learnt to appreciate this freedom in our lives. Through all this I have realised that family can come in many forms and my wish is that all reading this can find ‘family’, to spend Christmas Day with.