Sunday, December 1, 2013
Getting Into The Holiday Spirit
We've carried our holiday traditions with us to Albania but have made the expected modifications. Our tree is no longer a live pine; rather we have a soaring, perfectly shaped pre-lit tree that I must admit is pretty darn nice. (As someone who grew up in a family that always cut their own fresh tree, switching to fake was a bit hard). We've learned that not having to string those pesky lights is actually quite nice! Our eaves are no longer covered in white lights but both of the balconies that run along the front of our house are. After three years our Albanian neighbors don't stare quite as much at the bright spectacle; the first year they didn't really know what to make of them, last year several neighbors attempted to emulate our efforts with a handful of their own colored light strings, and this year we've received thank yous from the same neighbors who actually get to enjoy the view more than we do. And since we live in a house with limited electrical outlets, we've finally gotten the hang of which sets of lights we can plug into which outlets without tripping our circuit breakers. Despite our best efforts, however, for me, it has never felt quite like Christmas here in Albania.
While we've decorated the house for our past two Albanian Christmases, we've never actually been here on the holiday itself. Our first year we road tripped to Croatia and Slovenia and last year we sought out snow and Christmas markets in Bavaria. But this year, we'll be staying put for the big day then heading out of the country after the holiday. And because we will actually be here, we're making more of an effort to make the house festive. In years past we've set up our Christmas tree in our representational space, leaving our private living space barren of most Christmas adornment. With the exception of our party and delayed gift opening in front of the tree, we haven't spent any time in our decked out rooms. This year is different. Sidney is older and getting into the holiday spirit so this year we've brought the decorations upstairs. Sidney helped Glenn hang the lights and together we all decorated the tree. Despite the cool temperatures we don't have snow at our house but we can see it on the mountains outside of the city. Sitting in our living room lit with holiday lights it feels like it is Christmas and I love it. Today's agenda includes more decorating and I'm getting a start on the copious amount of cookies I bake each year. Yes indeed, the Christmas season is upon us and I'm beginning to feel it.