Merry Christmas everyone!
We spent our first Christmas as a married couple drinking coffee, opening gifts and listening to the construction outside. Fun! I got a new camera (yay!) - the PowerShot A3100IS which should suit my hobbyist's needs along with other wonderful assorted gifts from my husband and in-laws (my parents are sending gifts with some clothes I ordered for myself so will get here late).
I took the photo above on my iPod Touch, NOT my new camera!
This is what Christmas really means to me - no, not Maker's Mark! - spending time with family. With the roots of most of our Christmas traditions originating from pagans (both of the German and Roman variety) - from solstice celebrations and Saturnalia/Kalends, I tend to take the "this is a cold, dark time of the year so you may as well drink up and spend it with those you love" tactic.
It's great to spend our first married Christmas together opening gifts, but I do kind of wish that we were home (I have mentioned before that there is a family illness issue, so that makes it a lot harder. Usually I just make merry and throw a party. We are throwing a party but it's harder to reconcile not being home).
Which, not to be to taciturn on Christmas or anything, but does raise some interesting issues as an expat of where "home" is. We've lived in Taiwan for four years, going on five. We've lived in this apartment for three. We're married and have our own traditions. And yet, is this home, or is the USA our home? Am I "home for Christmas" or would that require several thousand dollars and a 12-hour flight?
Also interesting is that I've noticed that while female expats don't necessarily feel any more attached to home, homesick or obligated to visit home for the holidays, they do so more often - in part due to family expectation and the way that family life is still very much mother- (and woman-)centered, even today.
Merry Christmas! Happy Solstice! A Joyous Saturnalia to you!