Being far from home at such a special time of year can be hard. If you are used to being surrounded by friends and family leading up to the 25th December, to enjoy the festivities together, it can be difficult to get into the Christmas Spirit. This is the first holiday that D and I have spent away from England, away from friends and away from our families but we are working extra hard to make sure we are making the most of the time!
Our Christmas Day tradition, if we were in England, would include enjoying morning presents and an extravagant lunch with my parents before journeying to D’s family for an afternoon of more presents, food and fun with our loved ones. For the first time in 11 years, we are not going to have to leave the house on Christmas Day! Not having the usual coin toss to decide who has to drive and to wrap up in layers of jumpers and coats will be a nice change. Don’t get me wrong, it will be sad not seeing our families but you have to find the positives somewhere, right?
Over the past few weeks, we have been getting into the festive spirit with Christmas movies, songs and food as well as tackling the dreaded shops for gifts. We have had to be super organised this year in order to ship presents to England in time, meaning we had to have everything done by the end of November. I know, crazy right?! I thought it was always tradition to be doing things at the last-minute and it added to the suspense of the holiday!
I guess this has left more time for treats such as making ginger bread cookies, cakes, sausage rolls and more cookies which I am not complaining about! Something I have experimented with this year is decorating cookies. After watching so many tips and tutorials online, I filled my trolley with icing sugar, food colouring and cookie cutters and I got going! Making the cookies was the easiest part, making the icing on the other hand was a chore! Whipping that goo took me an age and actually piping it…! But what I got out of it at the end was worth the hand cramps and sticky work tops.
Other things that we have done to get ourselves in the festive mood include trips north to San Francisco to see the lights and to D’s christmas party at the California Academy of Science. It was the first time we had stayed in the city and it really did help with feeling festive! Seeing the city at night and enjoying drinks and food with good music and dancing isn’t a bad way to spend the weekend. Especially when we topped it off with breakfast and mimosa’s at the Cheesecake Factory in Union Square!
As much as I love visiting the city, there is nothing like getting home to your cosy sofa with a hot chocolate and enjoying a christmas movie while ogling your wonderful sparkly christmas tree. Me and D decided to go all out this year and buy a real christmas tree, along with lots of new ornaments to make it personal. We treated ourselves to some extravagant glass baubles as well as some more meaningful decorations. And of course, what christmas tree is complete without some Cadbury’s tree chocolates (thank you, sis!).
After spending the last few weeks organising everything from presents to food and getting around to see and speak to friends and family, we are back to enjoying a relaxing Christmas Eve on the sofa with hot chocolate in hand and a festive film on the TV, everything this holiday is supposed to be about!
So wherever you are in the world, whether you are spending the time with family or friends, or you are looking forward to a slightly different Christmas, just make the most of it! Remember, it comes but once a year!
Merry Christmas all 😘.