our first Christmas abroad

we’d been warned that it would be awful – the worst ever – because that’s the way all first Christmases abroad are.  I don’t really believe they are all that way, but I was prepared for ours to be.  and set my expectations thusly.

I expected misery, complaining, tears, gnashing of teeth, etc…

what we ended up with was one of the best Christmases I can remember.  I think low expectations were definitely beneficial.  we had a very low key day.  Christmas Eve we attended the 11pm candlelight service.  I don’t know that that would have been on the itinerary had A12 not been playing harp for part of it.  by the time we got home it was late.  like 12:30am.  we did our best to get the kids off to bed quickly with the instruction that we were not to be woken up before 6:30am.

and we weren’t woken before then.  down we went to open presents.  not alot under the tree.  the big gifts weren’t wrapped.  after presents – which we somehow managed to drag out until 10am – we ate breakfast.  a bagel, bacon and egg breakfast casserole.  then spent the day playing spades.  puttering around on the computer – trying to figure out how to get it all set up, playing ping pong table tennis laying around in our pjs, and catching some shut eye every chance we could.

eventually we had to start thinking about Christmas dinner.  we had rotisserie chicken, corn, mashed potatoes and whole berry cranberries.  the chicken and the corn both came fully cooked and still piping hot from the market.  the mashed potatoes I slaved over for like 20 minutes of actually having to be in the kitchen.  I even managed to make some cream gravy using the left over bacon fat from breakfast.  and the cranberries were sent from an awesomely awesome friend in Colorado.

and when the day was done there was no disappointment.  I didn’t hear one complaint about what we were missing or what it was like when we lived in the states. everyone seemed very content.

besides, it would be totally nearly impossible to top A12’s first Christmas as the worst ever.

5 thoughts on “our first Christmas abroad

  1. It sounds like a great day, I’m glad it was so nice and relaxing. Merry Christmas a little late. We made the most of being away from family and went to Rome. It was not relaxing.

    Italy sounds like it should be lovely… but I can also see how it’s just another new culture and another place that’s not exactly home. hope you’re new year is great!

  2. This was my second Christmas overseas and I must say that it hasn’t been nearly as bad as I thought it would be.

    I’m happy to hear that yours was a good one too!

    it was lovely, but I am envious of your cold weather!

  3. I’m glad it was a great day. Our worst Christmas ever, knock on wood, was last year with Matthew in the hospital struggling to breathe. It kind of changes your perspective, doesn’t it?

    Someday I’ll have to hear the story of A12, but I’m glad things are so much better.

    You guys seem like you’ve made a lot of progress over there. Congrats.

    we have made progress. it would probably be very beneficial for me to sit down and make note of all that’s changed.

  4. I think it was harder on my parents, my mother rather, having the first christmas without the extended family. The only time I really realized our’s was different was when my parents decided to ditch my brother and I for a Christmas party ON Christmas Day. As long as you spend it with the kids, they really won’t care…they just want to know they’re loved on Christmas! Merry Belated Christmas!

    thanks Christina! the kids seemed to enjoy it and I heard no comments on what they thought they might be missing.

  5. It wasn’t exactly the new culture. It was great fun to be there, but we honestly had Clark W. Griswald as our tour guide(10 mintues outside the Colosseum) and bus driver. Our double decker bus did circles in a neighborhood roundabout when they got lost. Then they ran out of gas! Two extra hours in a tunnel on the way home! Unbelievable! Actually, not too stressful since it wasn’t our problem to fix.
    Happy New Year!

    that sounds like a holiday to remember!! 😀

    Happy New Year to you, too!

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