Every once in a while something will come along just to remind me that I am an expat. I am living in a foreign country with a different culture, a different language, different social norms, and, apparently, a different definition of soup.
I’ve been here nearly three years and I’ve only just found out that chili and stew are not ‘soups’. Now, most people would probably just get on with their lives with the realization that it’s a small difference. Not my friends. We had a full on debate about what is and is not soup. Yepp. We are that cool.
Also, Happy Christmas? Is this a thing now in the US? It’s like a mix between Happy Holidays and Merry Christmas. Whatever it is, it just doesn’t feel right 😛
I always like to learn about the different traditions they have here. For example, instead of watching a massive, sparkling, glowing, spinning ball drop in Times Square for New Year’s Brits listen to a bell chime. Wooooot. 😛 To be fair, it is Big Ben, which is kind of a big deal I guess. But still. Doesn’t quite say “HAPPY NEW YEAR’S” in quite the same way.
However, something that didn’t used to say “Merry Christmas” to me now does. Mulled wine! The first year I enjoyed it as a new addition to Christmas time traditions. The second year it was nice because it was familiar (and I just really like mulled wine). This year when we brought out the mulled wine it properly felt like Christmas. Even without snow and outrageously cold weather. Makes me feel a bit less of an outsider when British traditions start to feel like traditions to me.
All in all I’ve done quite well this year for being away from family at Christmas-time. (Initially I wrote ‘home’ instead of ‘family’ but I changed it because I actually feel like England is home now…) It is obviously never easy to be a continent away from your family on any holiday, I always miss them and particularly so around holidays. But, this year I worked hard to just be fully where I was. To not let my thoughts wander home too often. To enjoy a Christmas with a fun mix of American and English traditions with my amazing “English family”. To get in lots of Skype dates with my American family. To remind myself that I will more than likely get to spend next Christmas in America.
And to drink plenty of mulled wine.
Happy Christmas from the UK!