Tomorrow is Constitution Day in Spain, which as I’m told, marks the beginning of the holiday season. Back in the U.S, Christmas season started a week ago, at 5 am to be exact, the day after Thanksgiving. Consequently, I logged onto facebook last Saturday to see everyone back home had already killed, mounted, and decorated their Christmas tree. Oh the things we do in the name of Jesus.
Now that I’ve lived abroad for a few years, I’ve come to see how our holiday traditions might seem odd to the casual observer. Don’t get me wrong, I love egg nog but convincing a foreigner to drink alcohol and raw eggs is no easy task. I assure you it’s delicious. To them, it probably sounds like something you’d drink if you were being held captive rather than a celebratory drink, and rightly so.
As much as I cringe at the sight of Christmas decorations in a department store in September, being so far from home, I’ve come to miss and dare I say, appreciate American commercialism. After all, it is the only way I know how to celebrate Christmas. For what would Christmas be without our beloved 24 hour Christmas Story marathon? (Say you hate that movie and you’re dead to me.)
They may be silly, however my time in Spain has made me realize how precious these little traditions truly are. It’s what connects me to my culture, my family, and my past. Though I don’t regret choosing to stay in Spain this Christmas to celebrate with my boyfriend, as any American immigrant can attest, conserving these traditions is important to me. And so this weekend, I’m going all out. It’s going to be as if a Christmas bomb went off in my house and I’m not sure if my Spanish boyfriend is ready for it. I’m dressing up in my Christmas pajamas, decorating the house with lights, baking cookies, building a gingerbread house, blasting Christmas song, and of course, introducing my boyfriend to all my favorite Christmas movies: Scrooge, Love Actually, A Christmas Story, It’s a Wonderful Life. Am I missing any?
How do you get in the holiday spirit? Tweet me.