Expat Q&A December

The Expat Q&A linky this month is all about the Festive season

Has your idea of the holiday season changed since becoming an expat?

How do you build new holiday traditions, while keeping ones that remind you of “home”?

The 5 years before we emigrated we spent the Christmas and New Year period on holiday and that has prepared us for having a untraditional Christmas.  We used to have a big family turkey dinner and gift exchange the weekend before we went away, we didn’t really bother with a Christmas tree but I always had plenty of decorations.  Christmas day itself was spent somewhere snowy except for the year we went to Egypt and being in a hot non-Christian country was just plain weird!  Since being in Canada we haven’t been away for Christmas, we spent one with Hubbies family and one on our own and this year we will be on our own again.  We’ll still have a turkey dinner with all the trimmings but the day itself will be a much more low-key affair and the time spent with my family will now be done on Skype instead of in person.


We have adopted a few new traditions since moving to Canada and discovered some that I really cannot really get on board with.  Mashed potatoes with dinner is one of them, in fact I’d have a riot on my hands if I tried to serve a roast turkey dinner without roast potatoes, it’s a British thing but I’m not changing that one!  We always enjoy the Santa parade in mid November and that marks the beginning of the holiday season.  It seems a little early but as there is no sign of Christmas before that and for many the festivities end abruptly on boxing day it doesn’t make the season any longer than elsewhere.  Generally people decorate their homes and put their trees up soon after the parade so even though I put up my tree on December 2nd, which is the earliest ever, I was one of the last people in our neighbourhood to do so! I will not be joining in with the tradition of decorations up and Christmas music on in November, I’ll continue to wait until December.

With only two festive seasons under our belt we are still trying to make our own traditions. We attended the Niagara on the lake candlelight stroll for the first time this year and that is something I would love to make a tradition, the atmosphere was brilliant, the singers were great and I can’t wait to do it again next year.



Another big difference is, of course, the weather and it looks like a white one is on the cards, if the past week is anything to go by!


Expat Q&A

8 thoughts on “Expat Q&A December

  1. Mum

    Mash? Oh no! I’m with you Lou not in my kitchen, until Boxing Day that is, then its cold meat, mash & pickles after a much needed walk in the fresh air!

  2. Holly Nelson

    Oh wow – gorgeous snow pics! I have to say that I 100% agree with you on the whole mash vs roast potatoes. We will definitely be eating roast potatoes for our xmas dinner! Isn’t it weird how much the thought of not having roasties can disgust you?!

  3. Cynthia

    It was so interesting to read a British take on North American Christmas holidays…. and as an American we truly do love our mashed potatoes in any winter holiday. Those snowy photos are beautiful :)

  4. Sara (@mumturnedmom)

    Ah, we have always had both mash and roast – combining mine and hubby’s traditions :) But then, I also have something veggie while the others eat turkey (and ham!), so it’s not an entirely typical Christmas dinner anyway!


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