It’s now Sunday and we’re on the other side of all of the Christmas celebrations. This year was a bit odd for me, since it was only my second-ever Christmas away from Sweden and my family. The first time I celebrated Christmas away from home was when I was 20 and had moved to The Netherlands earlier that year. It had been my intention to go home for Christmas, but to my dismay the company I worked for didn’t allow any time off during November or December.
Christmas in the Netherlands was pretty abysmal. I don’t know if it’s changed now, since everything in Europe seems to become more and more Americanised, but at least my then-boyfriend’s family wasn’t celebrating Christmas much. So, not only did I miss out on all the lovely Swedish traditions, but Christmas was barely Christmas at all.
This year, I’ve been in England for Christmas – and it’s been nice, but also difficult. I do miss all the traditions my family has around the holidays when I’m away. Not to mention not being with my nephew and niece (who I’ve watched grow up), which is something I always enjoyed.
Even being in England, our celebrations ended up a bit odd, since the boyfriend’s sister was celebrating with her fiance on Christmas Day – so the big family thing ended up on Boxing Day.
On Christmas Eve, the boyfriend was still working – while I was on Skype watching my family back in Sweden opening their gifts. It was fun to get to join in like that, even if it’s nowhere near the same. My niece, who’s turning two in January, doesn’t quite understand the whole webcam thing – and will sometimes try to feed me through the iPad.
She was very adorable though. Every time she unwrapped a new gift, she ran over to the webcam to show me what it was. My nephew, the four year old, was handing out the gifts – and every time he picked one up to give he said “HO HO!”.
Christmas Day, the boyfriend and I ended up spending alone at home. It was our first Christmas alone in our new home. We had a good time though. In the morning we had our stockings, then we cooked some Christmas lunch, opened the gifts we had for each other, watched a movie… On the whole, a really nice day together.
Boxing Day, we went over to his parents’ house and celebrated with his parents and sister+fiance. I got to use Christmas Crackers for the first time (is that an English tradition – or do other countries have this too? The kind that you pull on to get some little gift out of?).
All in all, I’d say it was a nice Christmas – and I hope that everyone else has had a good one too!