From now until after New Years our house is décor central. The truth is that it will be a while before the house looks “normal.” Currently we’re in Halloween mode and then that will be replaced with Thanksgiving and then Christmas. I’ve always been one to decorate but now as an expat living in the Middle East I feel a greater sense of responsibility to decorate and celebrate all holidays from my home in a big way. Part of this feeling comes with the responsibility to share the same childhood experiences I loved with my daughter.
One big challenge to my plan to shower my daughter with holiday love is that when you live overseas it’s difficult to get some of the things that are so readily available back home. When you find such items you must snatch them up and expect to pay a hefty price. For example, I just returned from the store and bought the following items:
2 small to medium pumpkins- $75
1 large turkey- $100
Pumpkin pie cans- $15 each
I know you’re probably wondering why I got the turkey and pumpkin pie stuff now since we’re a month out from Thanksgiving. I got them because I saw them and I may not see them again before Thanksgiving. I needed to stock up and be ready for the upcoming holiday. And yes, the prices are VERY steep but other items are cheaper than in the States. At the end of the year I feel that I still come out ahead and I’ve created a memorable experience for my daughter, one that reminds my husband and I of home.
I also love incorporating things from where we live now into our holiday celebrations. You know, “when in Rome!” Our community is full of so many talented people that pull their creative abilities together for some really festive holiday craft fairs. When we do move back to the States we will come with some pretty awesome holiday décor!
However you celebrate it’s important to have fun with it no matter where you live. I love incorporating our heritage into how we do things while also being open to learning about the local culture. For me, these aspects are what makes living overseas such an experience and adventure.
Do you live away from the place you call “home?” How do you take this into account when celebrating holidays?