OK, can we talk Christmas overseas?

(70 Posts)
ClaudiaSchiffer Tue 18-Dec-12 05:18:26

Hi I'm in Oz and am finally gettting my Christmas vibe on - 36 degrees today so not actaully "christmassy" as I know it, but I digress.

Can those of you who live in far flung places tell me . .

A. What are you eating on Christmas Day? I've been reading the main thread in the Christmas topic and it's all lovely roast goose etc. We're having prawns/oysters/salad etc But I need so good ideas, so tell me about your roast Antelope or stewed dragon fruit.

B. Who will you spend Christmas with if you're a long way from family?

C. Have you acclimatised to your present countries Christmas (or non-Christian) festivities?

Here in oz it's much more low-key than in the UK but I am enjoying the sunshine actually, makes for a great day with the kids running about outdoors.

Go on, tell me all, inspire me grin

pupsiecola Tue 18-Dec-12 05:23:45

We're in Singapore. We're having traditional turkey and all the trimmings on Christmas eve early evening with friends and mother in law and friends' mother in law. On Christmas day we're going to a club for a buffet lunch and lots of swimming for the kids.

Even though it's Christmas madness in all the malls here, I do oddly feel less pressure to magic up the perfect Christmas. I guess it's not gonna be a "normal" Christmas so we'll just go with the flow, which actually feels rather refreshing.

Next year we plan on a holiday to Oz for Christmas.

ClaudiaSchiffer Tue 18-Dec-12 05:25:26

Is this your first Christmas in Singers pupsiecola?

I like the sound of your club lunch. I wish someone was doing mine.

Santa041 Tue 18-Dec-12 05:40:39

We're in Hong Kong. So will spend the morning in our PJs just DH, kids and I. Outrageously we will have our turkey delivered from the Mandarin Oriental grin so no cooking at all. Stuff our faces then a walk along one of the beaches or down from the Peak.
Then first thing on the 26th we fly off for a weeks holiday in the sun
Whilst I miss family - I bloody love Christmas abroad!!
I agree its not about "normal" Christmas it's about what works for you - and if in doubt read some of the horror threads on here about all the insane family politics!

TanteRose Tue 18-Dec-12 05:42:50

Hi Claudia smile

In Japan - due for a cold Xmas weekend (highs of about 10 deg.C), most likely no snow, at least in Tokyo (whereas there have been HUGE amounts of snow up north)

Strictly speaking, Christmas isn't celebrated, so 25th is not a holiday (I will be working), but there is a public holiday every year on the 23rd (Emperor's birthday) and this year, it falls on a Sunday so we get the 24th off as well!)
Schools are also closed for Winter break from about 24 or 25th until 7th Jan.

OK your questions

A. In our house, roast chicken, mediterranean roast veggies with chestnuts, Jamie Olivers gravy
Traditionally (?) in Japan, people have Kentucky Fried Chicken for their Xmas meal confused, followed by strawberry cream shortcake.

B. It will just be the four of us - like it is every year.
Although, again, tradition (?) dictates that Xmas is for couples and friends. New Year is the real "family get-together time".

C. I suppose so - we will have the strawberry cream cake, because the DCs really want it (and I won't allow KFC, so I made a compromise on the cake grin

Not much inspiration really, Claudia, sorry blush

SavoyCabbage Tue 18-Dec-12 05:43:04

We are having turkey and it will be just me, my dh and our two dd. We talked about just 'tossing a shrimp on the barbie' but dd1 still has the turkey/ Christmas associations. I try hard to build traditions for them so we are having that.

TanteRose Tue 18-Dec-12 05:44:26

oh and we eat Christmas dinner on either 23rd or Christmas Eve

Santa041 Tue 18-Dec-12 05:46:56

Oops forgot to NC from the Xmas thread .... Slinks off embarrassed

Labootin Tue 18-Dec-12 05:48:24

Dubai .. So it's about 28 degrees

They're quite good on Christmas here (I suppose because of all the tourists) the shops are playing Christmas tunes, Dubai Mall has a rather curious gigantic sculpture of the Burj Khalifa made of Forerea Roche (the ambassadors chocs) or what ever you call them. most malls have a santas grotto and are decorated and the ski slope has Christmas trees and lights.

For food In the morning we go to the beach (you're not supposed to drink alcohol so bucks fizz is pre poured into a juice bottle ) Then We're going to a midday brunch in one of the big hotels (bit of an institution here .. 4 hours of as much champagne and food as you can guzzle) and then going to a friends for a pool party (and BBQ if we can stuff any more food in)

Labootin Tue 18-Dec-12 05:49:39

Christmas isn't an official holiday here either dh has had to take it as annual leave.

Also in Dubai and the first Christmas DD will understand properly. We have had to limit the number of visits to Father Christmas as they are in every mall. We saw him in one and it was a 2.5 hour wait.

We will have Christmas at home, my parents are coming over as they like getting away from cold Aberdeen in the UK. I am cooking my first turkey ever, in the past I have had a take away turkey & all the trimmings from a hotel. Yes, they do all the cooking and we just have to pick it up and serve it.

My brother lives in Oman (about a 4 hour drive) so he and the children are coming over for the weekend and we will go to the Snowpark.

DD is getting very excited, we are trying to dampen down her expectation as to what she will get.

Her Nursery has banned the word Christmas and they are not allowed to get to festive. I have a lovely very over the top Christmas outfit planned for the last day of nursery. smile

vvviola Tue 18-Dec-12 06:00:44

NZ here. This is our 1st Christmas here (well, DH grew up here, but we all only moved this year)

We're doing the works - turkey, ham, everything. DD1 had made me promise there will be Brussels sprouts odd child

My parents are staying with us at the moment and we'll probably see MIL and BIL over the Christmas at some stage. If my parents weren't here we'd probably go stay with MIL.

Our nod to the local Christmas will be pavlova and trifle for dessert instead of Christmas pudding. And a walk on the beach before dinner instead of curling up on the couch with a movie.

This is my first 'hot' Christmas. It's very strange. And I'm missing a lot of my hometown traditions at the moment Christmas pissups with friends

WhatSheSaid Tue 18-Dec-12 06:07:57

Nz too, 11th year here so very used to Christmas in the heat now.

Food - crayfish, turkey and bacon terrine (dh wants something turkey-ish at Christmas, I'm not bothered), lamb on the BBQ and salads, summer pudding, cheese and crackers.

A.m., just us opening presents, bit of lunch etc. Friends arriving from about 1 for big feed starting about 4. If its anything like last year the eating will go on till about 8pm. Booze for all adults while six kids run around in the garden (assuming no torrential rain, if there's light showers we're sending them out there regardless).

And yes, I'm quite accustomed to Christmas here now. Dd1 has finished her first term at school and now comes home singing Kiwi Christmas songs and correcting my Maori pronunciation grin

nooka Tue 18-Dec-12 06:28:11

We are in Canada so have 'traditional' Christmas weather - we've got about 8 inches of snow right now, so will probably have it on Christmas day unless it thaws.

However being away from family means we struggle a bit with making our own traditions, so Christmas tends to be a bit last minute spontaneous. It's much less stressful but not quite the same somehow.

So for example we haven't actually decided what we are going to eat yet! When the children didn't eat much we usually had duck on 'our' Christmas years (alternating with traditional ones at ILs/parents). Last year we had beef but it was slightly disappointing (we might see if we can find some buffalo, which would be more exotic smile). The only definite is that we will have a ham as it's cheap, we all really like it and they only are in the shops at Thanksgiving/ Christmas so it's a bit more of a treat.

We'll be visiting our lovely neighbours on Christmas Eve/Boxing day.

Otherwise a lot of the traditions here are very similar to the UK (not surprising as most families we know have some sort of English link) with a few Eastern European and German traditions thrown in too.

ClaudiaSchiffer Tue 18-Dec-12 09:25:26

oooh how lovely to hear about global christmasses'

Whatshesaid - we usually have crayfish at christmas, but this year the price has (apparently according to mil) skyrocketed! Is that not the case in NZ? I bloody LOVE it so may come to yours if that's ok?

Nooka - go for Buffalo! Awesome, I imagine you in snowdrifts chewing on buffalo ribs. Waiting to be rescued by Mounties. is that racist? grin

Savoy how old is your dd? Is she more English than you?

MarshaBrady Tue 18-Dec-12 09:28:33

I'm now in Aus for Christmas and it's a big family thing. Lots of oysters, crayfish, rare beef. And outside in the sunshine (hopefully!).

ClaudiaSchiffer Tue 18-Dec-12 09:32:45

Where in Aus are you Marsha? Have you checked the forecast?

What is it with everyone else having CRAYFISH APART FROM ME? I'm gonna have words with mil.

MarshaBrady Tue 18-Dec-12 09:41:35

South and remote!, yes forecast says hot. Apparently. I know re crayfish. Although my parents were promised one from some guy that might not be legit (they have now realised) and now it's too late to go on waiting list for licensed one. We better have crayfish <serious>.

Sun is lethal here. I always forget every time. Such a dry warmth. Have bad jet lag however. Three glasses of wine (evening) am buzzing.

MerryChristMoose Tue 18-Dec-12 09:47:28

I'm in Canada too. Rather disappointingly, the Mounties in our city don't have horses.

We're flying MIL over this year, so we're having a traditional turkey dinner. Last Christmas (our first in Canada) was very different as DS was late arriving. DH had got fed up of waiting and went back to work. I spent Christmas Day at my Doula's house. DS finally arrived on the 27th.

Definitely a White Christmas here too. Temperatures down to -25. I'm in a very multi cultural city, so lots of different celebrations going on. Lots if people heading out of the city to go back to their families, predominantly on the East Coast.

papooshka Tue 18-Dec-12 10:00:39

We are in Singapore, and are going to a friends house with 4 other families, so will be complete madness with all the kids. We are having traditional Turkey, ham etc. Playing silly games and getting drunk, can't wait smile

It feels a bit christmassy here with all the decorations up but not at all like the UK. We've got our christmas tree and decorations up at home.

Its very different as in the UK we would be going round visiting everyone madly but here its quite relaxed, which is actually quite nice (although I do miss my family and friends back home!)

SavoyCabbage Tue 18-Dec-12 10:19:31

No Claudia but only because nobody is more English than me!grin

She's nine and we have been here since she was five. This is our first Christmas on our own so I suppose I'm conscious of trying to make it as Christmassy as possible.

singaporeswing Tue 18-Dec-12 10:44:45

Live in Singapore but heading to Perth for Christmas. Spending it with DP's family and their friends, 5 bird roast on the BBQ, salads, BBQ type foods I imagine. I'm pushing for roast potatoes and will also attempt to make a trifle! Need to have some of my own family traditions, even if I will be on the other side of the world.

pupsiecola Tue 18-Dec-12 15:03:49

Yep, it's our first Christmas here. Our first Christmas outside of the UK. Ever!

skratta Tue 18-Dec-12 17:14:10

My seventh Christmas here, married to American DP (we're in Connecticut, USA).

Not turkey, but chicken, beef and duck, with veg.

It's a bit drizzly/wet at the moment, with a chance of snow around Christmas Eve (according to weather forecast) which is good.

We're getting out stockings, and having a traditional Christmas time (England traditional, not American- apart from turkey that is).

DP's family and my family are struggling to come over. We both have family scattered around. MIL is coming (which I'm pleased about, she lives in Alaska!), BIL and his partner (who are in Sweden), DM and DF (who are in the UK), DB + DSIL1(in Oman), DB2 = DSIL2 (in China), DB3 + his partner, DBIL(in the UK), DSis (in the UK), and their children. We'll be having about sixteen people (including their DCs) so I'm not missing my family too much. But they can only afford to come once every three-four years, usually we just have a family Christmas on our own.

WhatSheSaid Tue 18-Dec-12 18:13:26

Claudia re the crayfish, I'm not sure of the price as dh has a mate who works for a seafood wholesalers so we get it off him at mates rates. It's actually already in the freezer and it's bloody sharp...I keep forgetting its there and jabbing my finger on it when I go to get something out...

Dh actually brought a live one home once as an anniversary present (to eat not to keep as a pet!) hmm

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