New Country, Old Traditions

We all have our traditions at Christmas.

On Christmas Eve when the madness begins to settle we all celebrate the beginning of the big day in our own ways. Presents are opened at different times, the day is spent with people we love and a variety of favorite food is eaten. But for me this year it will be different to all the traditions I have ever had in my 21 years of life because I will spending my Christmas in LA for the second time and not in the UK where I grew up.

For me Christmas is the most important time of year. There is no other time that we gather to eat a big meal and spend the day playing silly games before falling asleep in front of the TV. As my family and I are from the UK we don’t celebrate Thanksgiving as it was never in our culture. Christmas is the only time of year we come together properly, shutting off the rest of the world and eating until we can eat no more. 

This year instead of frost on the grass and freezing temperatures, I will have palm trees and no doubt a beautiful, blue sky outside of my window. For the second year I will be spending the day with my “adopted” American aunt and uncle and I will be Facetiming my family in the UK to wish them a Merry Christmas and hear how their day has been. Theirs will be coming to an end, but ours is only beginning. This time when I open my stocking in the morning by the fireplace, instead of digging into Marks and Spencer’s chocolate biscuits I will be eating something else picked off the shelf in Ralph's.

Don’t doubt that I’m excited for Christmas, for each day I open a little door on my advent calendar to countdown to waking up on Christmas morning. But this year it will be different. I won’t be having a traditional Christmas that I grew up with or be eating the same food or seeing the same people.

So what happens to Christmas? And where do I find mince pies?

                                                                Photo Courtesy of Pixabay

Old traditions will stay and adapt. New traditions will naturally happen. Without realizing, new patterns start forming every holiday and although it feels odd, even a bit unnatural at the beginning, everything slowly starts to fall into place each year. We’ve found other biscuits we like to eat, make our own Yorkshire puddings, feel thankful for the warm day, spend our time with friends we love to share the day with, and have found new homes for our decorations around the house.

One new tradition we have since we've lived here is to see the lighting of the The Walt Disney Studios tree in Burbank. I’m lucky enough to visit this and walk around the lot because my dad works for The Walt Disney Company. This year I nearly didn’t make it and the thought of not going made me upset as it the fourth year we would be going. It's amazing how new traditions become important so quickly. 

In the adventure my family and I have had on trying to make Christmas feel the same or somewhat similar to the ones in the past, I’ve learnt that it doesn’t matter where you celebrate it, but who you celebrate with and what you make of the day. Some old traditions will stay and adapt whilst others will leave. We still put up the same tree, listening to the same Christmas music while wearing festive outfits. New traditions will also happen and each year they will return. At the end of the day what the most important part about Christmas is making those who you love, know they are loved and to have a fun, festive day! 

"It is Christmas in the heart that puts Christmas in the air" - W. T. Ellis

P.S. Mince pies can be found at the World Market!

                                                                Photo Courtesy of Pixabay