This will be the fourth Christmas that we have spent abroad, two here in Spain and two in France several years back.
Spending Christmas away from home is an odd thing. All my internal reference points for the festive season are tied up with good old Blighty.
For me Christmas should be spent in the cold, preferably the snow (the picture above shows what my back garden looked like on the last Christmas that we spent in the UK)
Christmas shopping should be spent dashing from one shop to another trying to stay warm whilst muffled in hats, scarves and gloves.
It is about glasses of hot mulled wine and warm mince pies and roaring log fires.
Back in the UK I would have had the Christmas decorations up at the beginning of December, the tree groaning under the weight of all my sparkly and glittery baubles collected over the years. Here I have decorated the sleeping end of the caravan but won’t do the rest until Christmas Eve as otherwise Santa is in danger of being decapitated such is the fight for space!
In the UK I would have spent the day in Norwich with my best friend trying our best to do a passable impression of actually getting some shopping down but instead spending the day eating, drinking, gossiping and enjoying all the Christmas lights and cheer.
The shops here all look pretty and sparkly (I’ll have to take some photo’s) but its just not the same when you are walking around in t-shirt and sandals and there is none of the fervant rush of bodies in and out of shops that there is back home. Manana baby is definitely the order of the day here.
Being away from home at Christmas and all the trappings that go along with it means that we have to do things differently in order to not spend the time wistfully thinking of what we are missing.
Of course we still include some traditional features – this is me at the weekend when we slipped down to the beach with a flask and a mince pie to watch the sun go down and bask in the evening rays.
This Christmas will be a time for us to catch our breath and take a few days out. It will be time to reflect on our first full year of our ‘journey’ and to plan what comes next.
Much of Christmas morning will be spent on Skype with our families so we will still get to share in a little of Christmas from back home and then the rest of the day will be spent eating and chilling and enjoying the sunshine with not a hat or scarf in sight…..
I know it won’t feel the least bit like a UK Christmas but it will feel like our Christmas and I’ve come to accept that that’s ok……