Wednesday, 18 December 2013

LIFE: Sometimes Christmas Isn't All That Festive

Before I fall head long into the final festive blog posts I want to share why Christmas seems to loose it's spark for me. I'm not sure if it's because of being an expat, getting older or years of slaving away in retail but Christmas isn't always that merry. 

You grow up with certain tradition and notions of what Christmas be it through your country, upbringing and how you came to celebrate it with family and friends. For me it was the dropping of a silver coin into the stirring of the Christmas pudding, buying the Radio Times Christmas edition to watching Christmas TV specials and mince pies. Even moving countries to one that isn't too dissimilar from your own throws you into a festive turmoil, at least for myself. There's no Boxing day, crackers to Christmas cakes - what you thought of as Christmas isn't the same anymore. It's all thrown into one day and then it's over. Christmas in another country forces you to relearn what Christmas is and how to celebrate it. I'm all up for learning and embracing the American culture, the food, the sports. But I find it hardest to adapt to the American style of Christmas. 

As for the years spent in retail well the festive cheer isn't always running wild there, the long queues, confused shoppers and the parents who just must find that one present for their princess but alas it sold out everywhere three weeks ago. When all the tills are running, staff are trying to serve you as quickly as possible so you can cull your deathly stare and over emphasized sighing that everyone can hear. 

Maybe I've lost the Christmas sparkle and need to see through my cynicism about people feeling they need this, this and certainly that. I need to see through the suggestions of overpriced white goods on bloggers wishlists and the overall pushing of materialism. And yes i'm well aware I say that with all the vintage (junk) I have.

I'm hoping in the last week running up to Christmas my festive spirit might return and i'll refind it among baking and spending time away from ebay with Joe and the kitties with a strong whiskey or three and I hope you come to enjoy the posts I have lined up to share. 


  1. Since moving out of my parents' home I've found it hard to be festive as even the other half's family celebrate the day very differently from my own. This is the first year I won't be having Christmas dinner with my family and it's making me a bit sad to be honest. I feel like I miss out on a lot of our little family traditions by not living at home.

    Debi x

  2. I totally understand how you feel. Christmas felt completely different growing up in the Philippines where they start celebrating pretty much in July. My family and I did the whole church thing and feasted and whatnot for days. Here in the states, it's the gift giving that seems to take precedent, which to me, now, isn't too big of a deal especially because jm not particularly religious. My husband and I try to make Christmas feel special by taking the time to cook together, hang out together, etc. I'm taking a HUGE time out from my shop until well after the holidays!

  3. My boyfriend and I are spending our first Christmas as expats this year - It's different, different good and different bad all at the same time. I too have worked the holidays in retail, it's hard, but I have sympathy when I'm out doing my shopping for retail assistants still working during the holidays.

    Even though Christmas is so different for us this year, I feel like I'm really into the Christmas cheer - more so than previous years and I quite like it :)