Shall we have another "Forrin" Christmas thread?

(53 Posts)
CrystalDeCanter Thu 21-Nov-13 01:16:16

I'm just starting to get my head around Christmas this year.

We are hosting Pils and Bils family, I want to make it nice (obvs) but still struggle a bit with the Aussie Christmas thing - Oh yes, I'm in Australia, but thread open to global displaced masses grin.

Tell me what you'll be eating, where you'll be, temperatures, traditions new and old - do you import British traditions to your new place or adapt to the new country?

To kick us off I'd like to say . . .

As holly and ivy and ALL winter decos seem a bit odd here I was thinking of decorating our garden with these kinds of things. It will be sunny and warm here (hopefully) so was thinking of doing an outdoor treasure hunt for the kids.

heather1 Thu 21-Nov-13 21:05:34

Wally, the snow is here early! Swiss Christmas with us. I'm not sure our little oven can hold a turkey for 8 plus trimmings so me and Dh are currently discussing ( arguing) what to eat Christmas Day. He is determined on Turkey, I'm not sure it will fit.
We will have Raclette at some point and tour the Christmas Markets. My sisters hoping for skiing.

WallyBantersJunkBox Thu 21-Nov-13 21:37:37

Heather it's not sticking here! sad

I had envisioned floating in the salt spa today surrounded by snow, but it wasn't to be...

Twunk Thu 21-Nov-13 22:00:11

Yes we will have a raclette too (very Northern European!) and I am going to cologne for the Christmas markets next weekend smile

madwomanintheatt1c Fri 22-Nov-13 01:05:07

We took my sis to Koln for the Xmas markets when we were living in Germany - she wrinkled her nose at the cathedral and said 'is that it?' Dh relives this every time we reminisce about Christmas markets. Have a gluhwein and brattie for me!

MasterOfTheYoniverse Fri 22-Nov-13 07:55:31

very envy at the thought of swiss and Dutch christmases, that's my childhood memories!

Twunk sending you lots of hugs and strenght and have a stroopwaffel (or 10) for me. Hope you are all home for a respite for christmas.

heather1 we are starting round of fondue and raclette in Hong Kong on the first weekend of December, even if its still 18 degrees celcius! enough now, we have to draw a line on summer at some point!

Thank goodness the International schools are doing christmas charity bazaars so we can stock up on mince pies etc...

PeppermintBark Fri 22-Nov-13 17:44:27

Christmas in Michigan for us.

We put up the tree and outside lights the first week of December, same as when in UK (although I think the outside lights are more of a US than UK thing).

There will just be the four of us, so it's much more low key than in when we go back to Blighty for the hols. We have turkey at Thanksgiving so I tend to get a rib joint for Christmas. I make mince pies as I can get Robertsons mincemeat from the grocery store and I make tons of sausage rolls for American friends, as everyone who has them loves them, but they're not something you can buy here.

We shall relax and watch Dr Who on the day.

I really miss England the most in the run up to Christmas as I don't feel it has the same atmosphere here. I used to love going into town and walking round everywhere - the malls just don't feel the same.

As we have such cold winters here, I do get really cross if there's not snow on the ground at Christmas. I do like a white vista to look out upon!

LA so no snow, who knows if it will be warm or chilly? First Christmas here and my parents are flying out, we're going American and doing their trad food - although no turkey because we'll have enough if it this weekend with thanksgiving

Getting a real tree though! So excited about picking it out

juniperDontevenblinkNZ Tue 26-Nov-13 20:36:20

New Zealand here. We have a bbq at lunch with rolled turkey breasts with stuffing in from our local butchers, I normally so some roast potatoes and we have veges like corn on the cob. Kids play outside a lot of the day (they are getting a trampoline for Christmas so I'm guessing they'll be on that all day!) and we normally go for a walk to the beach or the forest in the afternoon. Then we have a picnic tea. Christmas tv here is pretty rubbish, so we tend to watch family movies in the evening.
I'd really like a real tree, but with the heat and the fact we go camping for a week on Boxing Day we opt for a fake one.

There are a lot of Christmas things going on, a big Santa parade through the city, Santa at the beach (he brings his surf board!), Christmas in the Park with bands playing and carols etc, lots of big family work do's involving ice cream and bouncy castles, and lots of Christmas bbqs going on - we already have 4 lined up!

I do really miss the build up to Christmas in the UK, with the lights and dark evenings - used to be one of my favourite times of year in the UK but it doesn't really feel the same here when it doesn't get dark until gone 9... I'd love to take the kids round to look at all the lights in the UK, they are all 5 and under so it's too late for them to stay up here and most people don't seem to bother putting them up. I also miss being able to snuggle up in the eve and watch the BBC, never thought I'd miss the Christmas tv so much! There is something so nice about staying in, eating lots of food, playing board games etc.

My kids don't know any different though so its only DH and I. DS1's only concern is how does Santa get into the houses as nearly all the houses here lost their chimneys in the earthquakes we had - for the last couple of years there have been big billboards up telling children that Santa doesn't need a chimney so not to worry smile

WallyBantersJunkBox Tue 26-Nov-13 21:14:14

Juniper - get a big old key and label it Santas magic key. Leave it outside with the carrots for the reindeer.

I think you can buy them in the UK - not sure about NZ!

EspressoMonkey Wed 27-Nov-13 08:11:56

Will be Christmas in Switzerland again. We have had snow but most has melted, hoping for another big dump just before Christmas.

Turkeys here are expensive £45 for a small frozen one from a suoermarket, last year we spent £110 for a fresh one from our local butcher. Shockingly expensive!

Christmas markets are open now, so rock on mulled wine season!

EspressoMonkey Wed 27-Nov-13 08:15:13

Boxing Day doesn't exist in Switzerland. So DH was working BD last year. Bit of a come down for me. All my family in UK were doing family Boxing Day things and i took the DCs to the supermarket :-(

cjdamoo Wed 27-Nov-13 08:26:05

Nsw Australia here. 5th xmas here and I am Pushing for an Aussie xmas this year seafood and a bbq because quite frankly another christmas cooking up a traditional roast with all the trimmings whilst the sun shines is making my teeth itch. I fancy seafood and a barbie followed by the beach. It never feels right to me so if you cant beat em join em.

WallyBantersJunkBox Wed 27-Nov-13 11:35:33

Oh Expresso do you live in one of the 5 cantons that doesn't have a holiday on the 26th?

For the rest it's St Stephens day.

You should go across to France or Germany for your turkey, the fresh ones in Carrefour are a decent price. I ordered a fresh in from Coop the first year we moved, never again, far too expensive.

I bought one in Germany on sale for ex-pat Americans (Thanksgiving). I've frozen it and I will brine it a few days before to make up for any moisture loss!

EspressoMonkey Thu 28-Nov-13 11:30:56

WallyBanters yes we are in Vaud, so no St Stephens day. Tried a fresh coop turkey one year too, it was over priced and as the butcher pointed out "came from Slovenia" shock

FeijoaVodkaIsThirstyForVodka Thu 28-Nov-13 11:49:31

I'm hoping for another white UK Christmas. If I can't have a proper warm--wet--/hot Kiwi Christmas then I want it to be as stereo typical Christmas cardlike as possible grin

MasterOfTheYoniverse Thu 28-Nov-13 14:24:48

feijoa your name threw me off! Shouldn't it be feijoacachacathirstyforCaiperinha?
They grow guava in Russia?

FeijoaVodkaIsThirstyForVodka Thu 28-Nov-13 16:18:57

Master than thank goodness for Dr Google because I was very confused reading that! That drink sounds lush! Feijoas are huge in NZ for some reason, so I grew up with trees in the back yard and more feijoas than we could eat. In the UK the only person who knows what I'm on about has spent a lot of time in a Central Asian country where they are popular.
Feijoa is a flavour of a NZ vodka I like very much.

WallyBantersJunkBox Thu 28-Nov-13 17:12:30

Bummer Espresso Vaud has one of the lowest Cantonal holiday counts. We have the same in BL but my offices are in SO which have one of the highest.

Which means that I get extra days off that DS doesn't get, as his school is in BS, and I enjoy an odd sneaky day or two in the year at the Wellness baths or at the cinema. grin

I would definitely be going over the border for a pre-Christmas big shop. Do you get the tax back on your cross border shopping from Carrefour France?

MasterOfTheYoniverse Fri 29-Nov-13 01:13:30

smile sounded brazilian to me!
Love guavas!

All the Americans are very perplexed at Boxing Day - we're hosting a potluck Boxing Day party for everyone we know here (quite a few Brits aren't going home this year) for everyone to bring their leftovers to

Christmas Eve I'm getting a whole salmon and some west coast oysters and hosting dinner for our American friends who just hosted thanksgiving for us....so. Very. Full

FeijoaVodkaIsThirstyForVodka Fri 29-Nov-13 22:29:13

They are Brazilian, just for some reason they are popular in NZ and Central Asia.

giggly Mon 02-Dec-13 15:00:56

Hang on did no one notice madwoman saying her husband had,nt plugged the car in ? confused
Another in Oz , just weird in the sun.

FeijoaVodkaUnderAPohutukawa Mon 02-Dec-13 21:18:27

grin at the unplugged car.

I may be hoping for another white Scottish Christmas, but thought it was time to give myself a little reminder of NZ Christmas at the beach. Hopefully my name will come true in a couple of years.

vvviola Mon 02-Dec-13 21:35:35

In NZ for Christmas and feeling a bit sorry for myself about it because nothing feels "right". Especially was we are going to MIL's sister's house and there's not going to be turkey & we'll have to go back to our B&B for 4 hours in the middle of the day before we're allowed dessert.

So I'm finding it very hard to get into the Christmas spirit, which is very unlike me.

We will have Christmas Eve at home though so I'm planning some fun Christmas things for DDs and a really nice breakfast of fruit and pastries and chocolate grin before we hit the road for the 2 hour drive down to MIL.

arfishy Tue 03-Dec-13 00:39:18

Christmas in Sydney here.

We're going to start off the day with bucks fizz in the pool (and obligatory photo for the folks at home) and have a huuuuge Christmas Dinner outside regardless of temperature - turkey, roasties, roast parsnips, stuffing (imported Paxo), gravy (imported Bisto), sprouts (if we can get some), cauliflower cheese, yorkshire puddings, peas, carrots, carrot and swede mash.

I have a christmas cake that I've been feeding brandy for 2 years grin

We'll have a real tree and some nutcracker soldiers - we have no mantelpiece or bannisters for the holly/wreaths so no other decorations really. I have a wreath made of bells which sounds like reindeer for the front door.

We do the Aussie Christmas on Boxing Day - seafood from the fish markets and a barbeque.

I think we are having fellow expats over on Christmas Day - they have four children so it will be lovely to have a full house.

I really miss the Christmas Markets and dark nights, gluhwein and the whole Christmas atmosphere at home. It's really difficult to feel Christmassy in bright sunshine.

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