Week 16: Surviving Christmas away from home

December 23, 2008 - Filed under Weekly Report

It’s strange spending Christmas in a tropical country, especially when it’s snowing like crazy back home. I’m not usually one to get homesick, but around the holidays I think even the most seasoned traveller gets a little nostalgic.

I remember my first Christmas away from home. I had been living in Amsterdam for almost a year, and couldn’t afford a plane ticket home for the holidays, so instead I was staying put.  I think I tried extra hard that year, to keep my self busy with all kinds of Christmasy things just so I wouldn’t have time to miss home. 

xmas in amsterdam

Some friends and I spent a fantastic evening decorating a tree, I made cookies, and bought a turkey. On Christmas eve I called my family and opened the package that had arrived from my mom a few days earlier.  She had sent me all the ingredients I needed to make fudge (a Christmas tradition at home) including the pan, and after I got off the phone, I made midnight fudge.  On Christmas Day a few other friends who had stayed in town, came over and we had a great Christmas dinner. There were still a few moments when I missed home, but it ended up being a great Christmas even being so far away.

This year couldn’t be more different. It’s 30 degrees, I’m sitting on a beach, and despite a few feeble attempts to get in the holiday spirit (I made fudge and christmas cookies) it couldn’t feel less like Christmas. 

christmas cookies

We went into town yesterday to get a few groceries to make Christmas dinner and ended up spending the better part of the day at the Immigration Office, trying to renew our visas before they closed for the holidays.  More than a few hours later, visas in hand we finally made it to the grocery store, only to find out the turkeys we’d seen the week before were all gone. We knew we were pushing our luck by waiting till the last minute, but unfortunately our freezer isn’t big enough to hold a turkey… instead we’re having Christmas chicken.

So although it’s shaping up to be a less than traditional Christmas, with no tree, no gifts and no turkey, I’m glad Mike and I get to spend it together. I hope you all get to spend Christmas with someone you love. 

Happy Holidays!

Posted by: Kelly

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