Day in the Life: Christmas Edition
I don't think I remember how different Christmas Day is for me in Belgium until it happens. As a kid, I grew up with the super traditional Christmas where everyone went into the living room together, opened gifts and ate breakfast. Now that I have nieces and nephews, the tradition continues with the big difference now that I do it with a mimosa in hand. Yet my last American Christmas was five years ago.
In Belgium, it is very different, very quiet. That doesn't mean I don't enjoy it. I love where I am in life right now and I appreciate these moments. Yet, glancing through everyone's Instagram stories and seeing American Christmas, I felt nostalgic. Every year, the quietness catches me off-guard and makes me miss spending time with my bigger family.
Here is a glimpse at my expat Christmas:
1am: A nice walk home from Christmas Eve dinner at Carte Blanche. We left around 12:30am and stepped outside into a fairly warm Belgian evening. We walked the long way home along the canal to check out the boats. Then crawled into bed full, happy, and content.
8am: Woke up and remembered it was Christmas morning. My bed was so warm and cozy so I decided to doze a little longer.
9am: Spent awhile in bed catching up on instagram and Facebook and reading through Flipboard.
10am: Tried talking the roommate into bringing me coffee in bed. Total failure. That guy can sleep so late, it's almost impressive.
10:30am: Major Christmas fail! Went out to make coffees and learned we only had one pod for the coffee machine and were totally out of milk. It was comical and sad all at the same time. So instead I made a little Christmas breakfast. Neither of us were super hungry yet, so a few eggs and fresh fruit. But to make the eggs special, I cooked them in a little foie gras. Amazing.
1:30pm: After some lazy TV time, we bundled up and headed outside. What was supposed to be a little stroll turned into a nearly 15km hike around town.
3:00pm: Before returning home, we swung by the neighborhood kerstmis chalet and grabbed two little glühweins to warm up and celebrate the day.
3:30pm: I took a nice long bath followed by a 30-minute nap. It felt so incredibly luxurious.
5:30pm: A little pre-dinner spread of pate, wagyu beef bresaola, gluten free crackers and more berries.
6:45pm: Headed out into a rainy Belgian evening to meet our Christmas dinner dining companions. Four of us expats got together and did all-you-can-eat ribs for dinner because that's obviously what you do for Christmas.
10:15pm: It was such a fun evening of laughs and stories. It was a great group to spend the holidays with but sadly, the roommate was feeling under the weather (and woke up this morning downright sick....) by the end. We were home and asleep by 11pm. And no, we didn't have the chocolademousse van de huis.