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All the rest have 31…

on August 15, 2011

Anyone else here a big fan of December?

Now chances are you are either cheering or staring at the screen in frank incredulity. December! Christmas! Preparing for Christmas! Woohoo! Or alternatively: December? Time of frantic Christmas shopping and big Christmas and New Year get-togethers where someone is sure to end up in St Mungo’s with a satsuma or walnut up his or her nose? Stress on earth and ill will to all men!

Be that as it may, I love it.

I love the fairy lights on the houses. They make up for the dark mornings and evenings. People here don’t go in for the different colours so much, just the starry white ones. Beautiful.

I love the anticipation of the first snowfall on our balcony, as we watch the snowline moving further and further down our mountain.

I love preparing for Christmas. I even love planning how we’re going to prepare for Christmas (which admittedly happens in November but never mind).

I love doing Bible readings and lighting candles and having special baking or craft activities with the children all through Advent. Some that we loved last year, and some new ones. If you read on here regularly, you already knew that, because I’ve posted photos and links for the last two winters.

I love December food. When I was little we always had hot-chocolate-with-candy-canes as one of our special Advent treats. Now one day we have hot chocolate with marshmallows with our little ones, and another day mincepies because they’re hard to come by here, and another day a cream tea with strawberry jam and freshly baked scones. I know that’s traditionally summer fare in the UK, but December is perfect for baking in a way that summer really isn’t here. And of course I love cranberry sauce, stuffing, Christmas cake and Christmas pudding too.

I also love that every year our month-long schedule looks a little different – one bonus of being an expat and the daughter of expats is that we have to travel to two different countries to visit both sets of parents. Which means we can’t possibly be expected to do that every year. Which means we can be on a three-year rota – one year here, one in the UK, one in Belgium – and no one will think to complain. (Actually, probably neither his parents nor mine would complain anyway. We’re very blessed in that respect). I love that we get to fully take part in three different sets of family traditions because of only being with one (extended) family for the whole Christmas week.

And I love that as a result there’s very little, if any, arguing or insertion of satsumas into noses, because we want to make the most of seeing each other while we can. Which in turn means I can look forward to the family reunion without apprehension, and enjoy the whole month of December.

I also like May. But that’s another story.


4 responses to “All the rest have 31…

  1. heysparky says:

    I love December too, but it lacks now that I live in FL and only get a short, mild winter. December should have some snow!

  2. So true. I think I will love it even more when the kids are a bit older and we can focus a bit more on the spiritual side of things. Kind of goes over their heads a bit now.

  3. vickyvp says:

    Hi Michaela, I'm Vicky…also in the Blog Challenge. I live just down the street from Lisa (who started the challenge).

    I also LOVE December…my absolute favorite time of year! I agree with you on all points, and with Lisa too that Florida needs to have snow and then December would be perfect! 🙂 Nice to meet you. Do you mind if I link to your blog?

  4. I'm getting ready to get ready for Christmas – and I love how you describe being able to see the snow coming toward you as it moves over the mountains. I LOVE views like that – I had one for 2 years and those views comforted me during those 2 years. As a matter of fact, I'd say it was my very favorite part of those two years. But now we are home, snugged back into “our” house – no mountainside views – but full hearts! Wishing you a Joyful Merry Christmas season!

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