Holiday Cheers

Although living overseas can bring some holiday blues, it can be blessed with some good cheer as well.

Here are some of my blessings this year:

1. Skype: We were able to skype with most of my family just this past weekend. I have 4 siblings and they are all married with kids and some with grandkids even , so there are a lot of people to visit with. Skype wasn’t so nice to us, as we had trouble…but considering that we were able to see each other briefly over miles and miles of ocean, I really can’t complain. Something that was NOT available when I first moved overseas.

2. Boxes like this! LOVE my European chocolate and candy…do I really have to share it with my kids and husband? 

3. Putting up the Christmas tree and looking at all the ornaments like this and this.

4. Keeping old traditions and making new traditions.

My kids are all home now for vacation. They are counting down the days on an hourly basis. I love my time with them watching Christmas movies, sipping hot chocolate, and watching Christmas tree lights.

I pray that your Christmas holiday is one full of joy, peace and good health.

Merry Christmas!

Your turn: What has brought you cheer during this Christmas season? Please share in the comments below!

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An Expat’s Christmas Tree

I love Christmas. I love listening to all the carols new and old. I love the smells of cinnamon, ginger, and all things Christmas-y.

I love the laughter and squeals from my girls as my husband begins to assemble the tree.

I love the excitement as I open up the black luggage tote full of ornaments. Ornaments that ring out our family’s history. Like these:

Our first Christmas together.

The Christmas we spent in Austria.

The Christmas in Germany.

Our last Christmas in China.

Our Christmas in the US.

This is a tradition that my husband and I started our first year. We make sure that we have a new Christmas ornament for each year.

Each has it’s own story to tell and we talk about our time in that place or the events of that year. I love this because we pass down stories to our kids. Some stories portray them as the main characters. Other stories they are not part of, but each year we remember. It’s good to remember. Remember the fun times, the hard times, the joyful times, the times of grief.

It’s during these times of remembering that I’m reminded to be thankful. Thankful for all the good friends I’ve met. Thankful for all the beautiful places I’ve been to. Thankful for the family I’ve been able to visit during the Christmas seasons of past. And to be thankful for what this season means to me and my family.

That Love came down as a Babe.

Do you have a special ornament that tells a story from a Christmas somewhere? Please share in the comments below.

*Sorry that some of the pictures wouldn’t flip correctly. I tried, but it just wouldn’t let me. Ugh!