With the holiday season upon us, we’ve been deciding which traditions to uphold while we’re abroad. Both of us are very much into the holiday spirit but with limited space in our shipment, our winter cheer didn’t make the cut. When we think of the holidays we think of family, traditional foods, fun décor, and the aroma of cinnamon, cranberry, and pine -whether that be from a candle or DIY potpourri. This one’s our favorite! Being abroad, family is impossible to replace. As far as upholding our other traditions, it calls for some ingenuity.
Luckily, we have an amazing group of fellow expats to celebrate some of the holidays with such as Thanksgiving. Being an American holiday, stores catering to all of our turkey day needs doesn’t exist. We all pitched in for a special turkey delivery! With 30 of our closest expat friends, we successfully shared all of the popular Thanksgiving feasts and gathered for games. Potluck really is the best way to end up with dishes that are as close to the “original” as possible here. The amount of work that’d go into preparing all of our family recipes would just be too much. Green bean casserole alone would call for homemade fried onions and condensed cream of mushroom soup. No Campbell’s condensed or French’s onions here folks. We won’t be so fortunate for Christmas with most everyone travelling!
It’s a proven fact that Christmas decorating spikes dopamine, the feel-good hormone. No wonder we love it so much! At the root, pun intended, of holiday décor is the Christmas tree. This is a must have no matter the size. Apparently, the majority of people here opt for real trees, which is harder for us to swing sans vehicle! With the tree comes lights and ornaments which we’ve heard IKEA has the deals on… otherwise it would run us a pretty penny just for one strand of lights. Aside from a decked-out tree, our holiday cheer this year will consist of seasonal candles, an advent calendar, and plenty of cookies for Santa.
Growing up there wasn’t such thing as Christmas markets. Sure, the streets were lined with lights and stores stocked with décor, but nothing like it is here. It was magical back then and seeing the markets here has kept that magic alive! There are even random stands for chestnuts or a giant Christmas tree on more unpopular corners of the city. Seeing all of the glistening lights and stands covered in garland has us excited! Over the next couple of weeks we’ll be exploring these markets throughout Switzerland, France, and Hungary. It also has us realizing once again how fast time is flying. There’s so many moments that we wish we could freeze just to soak them in a little longer!