It’s Christmas Eveeeeeeeee!! Are you feeling festive? Is the tree decked, are the presents wrapped, are you ready for the big fat man to visit? Well I’m writing this in the sweltering heat sat wearing a bikini deciding when to take the next dip in the pool, and yep folks this will be how I will be spending Christmas day too as we are in Buenos Aires for the big day.
Our Christmas dinner will consist of empanadas, a juicy Argentinan steak washed down with stupidly cheap but bloody great red wine and ice cream for dessert to cool us down as temperatures rise. It’s not the same as a belly buster Christmas day meal complete with stuffing, pigs in blankets and flaming xmas puds but it’s fun to mix up those festive traditions.
The thing about spending Christmas in a different country is to embrace it like a local. Don’t try and reproduce your nans signature gravy or scour the shops looking for a tin of quality streets. You can’t celebrate an English Christmas anywhere but in England as it just won’t be the same! That’s not to say different means better or worse … just different.
I haven’t spent Christmas day in the UK for the past two years. In 2012 I was in Thailand celebrating with pizza, sunbathing and beers on the beach with awesome new friends from all over the world.
In 2013 I experienced my first French Christmas in the town I lived for the past year. The festivities began on Christmas eve including a 7 course dinner and nearly drowning in wine and cheese. It was great! And for 2014 we are in Argentina who knows where we’ll be next year.
Of course that’s not to say I’m not slightly jealous seeing people on twitter getting excited about wearing naff jumpers, watching trashy xmas films or having that excitement of the build-up before the big day. There are things I don’t miss like the panic buying of presents, the mad rush to get everything ready before you finish work and the pressure of trying to fit in visits with as many friends and relatives as you and your petrol gauge will allow for. Spending Christmas abroad takes away a lot of this stress and pressure that things have to be perfect as you can just wake up and do whatever tickles your pickle.
Yes there won’t be many presents to open (budget backpacking doesn’t lend itself to luxuries like this), we won’t be watching the queens speech (not that I have ever seen this!) and our families and friends won’t be celebrating with us but they are just a facetime or skype call away. Rather than feeling frazzled and taking things for granted having space and time away means I am mega excited to spend the day how I want – feeling very lucky and happy.
I wish you all a very merry Christmas/Feliz Navidad whatever you do or wherever you are just please have a glass of mulled wine for me!
Have you ever spent Christmas abroad?