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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.

Sibble Thu 21-Nov-13 01:33:59

They are pretty cool.

NZ Christmas - We decorate a tree, for the last 11 years we have bought a real one, this year I am tempted to buy a fake one shock as a) the real one is often dead from the heat before Christmas is over b) I am allergic to real ones. However, it feels wrong so is still up for debate. We spend Christmas at our beach house (and take the tree with us on a trailer!). Christmas morning santa comes round on a fire truck throwing sweets while his 'helpers' spray hose on-lookers. We open presents, have a swim (weather permitting - this is NZ not OZ!) play board games, sometimes catch up for drinks with other lost soles with no family, have the traditional roast (chicken or lamb usually as turkey is ridiculously expensive) and pull crackers. Boxing day for the past few years we have been joined by friends for the day and repeat the events of Christmas day while their dog terrorises our cat (who also comes to the beach!)

So for us I guess it's a mixture of old and new because of the heat and without family around us.

madwomanintheatt1c Thu 21-Nov-13 01:52:42

Canadian Christmas! Very traditional - more traditional than the UK! We have had a foot of snow in the last 24 hours, and I live in the mountains. grin
Turkey, Christmas trees, skating on ponds, hot chocolate, log cabins, and egg nog.
The ils are coming for a month (so they can ski ;-) ) but I will be mailing everyone else's Christmas goodies - maple syrup, eh?

deXavia Thu 21-Nov-13 01:54:34

Hong Kong and yes Christmas decorations just look wrong in the sunshine! However we'll still have a tree and with small kids as many tacky decorations as we can find.
Christmas lunch is delivered from one of the big posh hotels - this is the single most joyous thing I've discovered in HK. It's guaranteed to be yummy, means no last minute shopping and gives us all morning to chill and build massive lego sets!
Then on Boxing Day we fly off on a weeks vacation in the sun.
I lurves Christmas in Hong Kong grin

deXavia Thu 21-Nov-13 01:55:37

Ohh maple syrup candy - fabulous stuff

TreaterAnita Thu 21-Nov-13 01:57:36

Ooh, I'm quite interested in this, not because we're abroad, but because we have Aussie family coming over for the first time and we want to give them the full UK Xmas experience. So can I slightly barge in and ask, if you live abroad, especially in Oz, what UK Xmas traditions you miss?

(One of these years we won't be cheap skates and actually experience an Australian Xmas, normally we fly in Xmas Day/Boxing Day to avoid the rip off fares.)

WallyBantersJunkBox Thu 21-Nov-13 02:03:52

Switzerland...we haven't had any snow yet!

Apparently it's coming Friday.

Usual run up - advent next weekend, so the Christmas Markets start week Friday. Lights go up outside houses.

We get a tree earlier than most, as the Germanic tradition is Christmas eve tree with candles, and presents.

We celebrate on Christmas day though, as Santa visits us, not the Christ child. I have secured a turkey during expat Thanksgiving sales, so it's in the freezer, nestled next to 100 homemade mince pies....

A common Swiss Christmas lunch is Fondue Chinoise, but we will have full turkey dinner, and our Christmas cracker & Cadbury reserves have been topped up since our half term visit home.

Just us for Christmas day, then some other expat friends for games and a snowy mountain walk on Boxing day.

CrystalDeCanter Thu 21-Nov-13 02:10:49

Sibble, I love the thought of you towing your christmas tree to the beach house. How funny.

CrystalDeCanter Thu 21-Nov-13 02:16:21

deXavier - you get Christmas dinner delivered??!!? I've never heard of anything as splendid. How madly lucky and indulgent.

TreaterAnita I miss the cold - the whole build up to Xmas with dark gloomy weather and the pretty shops. Here it's much more low key and obv not the same weather. I miss a traditional Christmas lunch - we have prawns, lobster etc (equally delicious but not Christmas iyswim). I also really miss doing jigsaws/playing charades etc and watching Morcambe and Wise Christmas show on the telly but that was when I was a kid not now . . .

TheZeeTeam Thu 21-Nov-13 02:34:05

OP You're decorating your garden pretty much how I decorate mine in the summer! Then, without fail, the nasty NE summer storms come in and kill them before I take them down.

I am actually really into Christmas this year. I think it's because it's DS1's second to last before he leaves home, and the younger two are 9 and 10, so I'm aware that this is probably the last year they will ever find it truly magical. DD was in tears the other day as the Chimney Sweep had been on the same day she had left the letter for Father Christmas in the hearth. Obviously, I have the letter, but it just reminded me how short this time is.

deXavia Thu 21-Nov-13 02:42:41

Crystal oh yes in a beautiful box with a bow wink . There's only us and the kids so it seemed insanity to cook a turkey but then some told me about this service and we've done it the last 3 years. It comes with mash, gravy stuffing - the works. It's hugely indulgent but honestly the best Christmas gift ... ever!

I agree though I miss wrapping up against the cold, dark evenings and snow. And I do miss Christmas markets and all the treats like mince pies and gingerbread men. You could do them of course - and many do - but I just don't seem to get into the same Christmas spirit here.

MooseBeTimeForSnow Thu 21-Nov-13 02:48:54

Same as madwoman. A thoroughly traditional Christmas here in Northern Canada. We can even pay the council $5 for a permit to go into the forest and cut your own tree.

It's likely to be deep in snow and -30. It was -26 today with a beautiful clear blue sky and the sun was shining.

Sibble Thu 21-Nov-13 02:57:26

Loving this thread and having just read mine back to myself have to apologise for lost soles hmm of course I meant souls! confused

CrystalDeCanter Thu 21-Nov-13 03:58:45



MasterOfTheYoniverse Thu 21-Nov-13 04:09:56

Hong Kong here too and hoping it will be cool enough by then.
Have order a proper royal fir, just love the smell.
We also light up scented candles as soon as it gets dark and use a few fairy lights to get into the mood.

Have never ordered a full lunch, love cooking for large numbers so that's a good opportunity to have a few friends over.
We always order a big tray of oysters though.

This year, we'll be on a beach!

madwomanintheatt1c Thu 21-Nov-13 04:16:10

We'll be getting our tree permit soon, moose grin
Last year we waited united until the ils arrived and went and cut two, one each grin
-35 here today. On a less festive note, dh didn't plug his car in last night and it is frozen solid until the temp goes up. <sigh>

madwomanintheatt1c Thu 21-Nov-13 04:16:49

I am however, wondering if Christmas dinner delivered in a box is a possibility...

RichManPoorManBeggarmanThief Thu 21-Nov-13 04:18:52

Live in HK but going home this year- we alternate. Slightly panicing about how much I need to organise between now and then. Last time we were back for Christmas 2 yrs ago I was 7 wks pregnant with DD, felt exhausted and sick as a dog, so hoping this one will be more festive for me.

deXavia Thu 21-Nov-13 04:24:09

Waves to Yoni and RichMan

deXavia Thu 21-Nov-13 04:25:00

Sorry Yoni should probably be abbreviated to 'Master'

MasterOfTheYoniverse Thu 21-Nov-13 04:46:57

Yes please smile
Think maybe time for a namechange!

13loki Thu 21-Nov-13 15:34:44

We are in Sweden. We do full-on Swedish cChristmas on christmas eve (julboard, tomte visit, watching Donald Duck and all the TV specials, then Santa comes durinf the night and I so full on british Xmas dinner on Xmas day. Best of both worlds. Wirh pretty much guaranteed white christmas.

13loki Thu 21-Nov-13 15:35:04

We are in Sweden. We do full-on Swedish cChristmas on christmas eve (julboard, tomte visit, watching Donald Duck and all the TV specials, then Santa comes durinf the night and I so full on british Xmas dinner on Xmas day. Best of both worlds. Wirh pretty much guaranteed white christmas.

MooseBeTimeForSnow Thu 21-Nov-13 19:31:53

I'm sure a couple of local hotels deliver. DH isn't fussed for a roast turkey and DS is indifferent, being 23 months. I'm thinking a turkey and ham pie maybe, with creamy mash and shed loads of veg ...

Twunk Thu 21-Nov-13 19:41:08

Netherlands. We are currently doing "Sinterklaas" which is where many of the Christmas traditions come from. 5 December he leaves a sack of gifts outside the door and goes back to Spain on his steamboat. (Don't ask).

My DS has been seriously ill this year, my parents are coming as we can't travel (he's in treatment) and so I'm going to make it as wonderful as I can, even if we're in hospital.

Christmas isn't as "big" here because of sinterklaas, but we are going for the full British Christmas with turkey and crackers and ginger wine and presents and Slade and carols and everything.

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