One of the things about being overseas is that you end up spending holidays away from family. This was one of those years for me. Thanksgiving is a given as very few international schools have it off and if they do, it would only be for a few days or a week. But the Christmas holiday is one that is generally long enough to fly home for.
This year on the I am applying for my UK citizenship and because of that I didn’t know until October if I would have my passport or not. Turns out that I do have it, but it was too late to even bother with looking at ticket prices! So I planned on spending Christmas here in England with my UK family. Well I call them that since I practically moved myself into their house when I arrived in the UK!
Christmas this year consisted of dinner at Jenny’s house on Christmas day with nearly all of the good friends that I have in Southampton. We had the typical English Christmas foods turkey, roasted potatoes, roasted veggies, Yorkshire Puddings, and Christmas Pudding. I added my favorite dish with a sweet potato casserole, complete with proper Jet Puffed marshmallows that arrived a few days before! (Thanks, Mom!) Jenny sets an amazing table complete with the Christmas Crackers that are part of the tradition.
Boxing Day, which is a holiday here in England, was spent at Alex and Claire’s. Alex purchased the most amazing piece of beef which was huge but yummy! Again all of the traditional items were around the table, and again I added my sweet potatoes casserole. I think I might have converted a few people to it!
I have to say that for the few times that I have spent Christmas away from my family, I have always been very lucky to be invited to someone else’s house or celebration. In 2001 it was Jenny’s house for my first Christmas abroad. In 2005 & 2006 it was to a small Thai rice farming village in Thailand to spend it with Caroline making Christmas cookies with the village kids. In 2007 it was back to Jenny’s! 2008 was Inka and Gianni in Florence at the amazing Ristorante Accademia, and twice since 2009 when I moved to the UK.
I would have loved to have been able to be home for Christmas but if I couldn’t be I have to say this a great way to celebrate Christmas! Thank you to all of my friends who have hosted me during the Holidays, I have truly appreciated it.