Expat Holidays: Wherever You Are

by missfootloose on December 22, 2012 · 7 comments

in Food, life abroad, traditions

Christmas Tree in the SnowChristmas_2009__200x212Whichever holidays you celebrate and wherever you are this festive season, with family in your own country, or somewhere far away in a foreign country, I hope you will be happy and have fun. Last year I was in Moldova, roasting two Moldovan village geese for Christmas dinner. (Not something I’d ever expected to be saying: I roasted two Moldovan village geese.) We invited expat friends whose family live in New Zealand, and the four of us had a lovely meal.

This year we are in the US and I’m cooking a traditional turkey dinner with all the trimmings and we’ll have lots of family around the table. As a Dutch person I did not grow up with the tradition of stuffing birds, but when I married an American I married a lot of foreign culture as well, so I learned. Love will do that for you.

Whenever I cook a big turkey, I think of my mother’s comment, years ago when she visited us in the US for Christmas. She watched me wrestling with a monster turkey and shook her head in consternation. “Why don’t you make it easy on yourself and just cut it up and roast the parts?” she said with Dutch common sense.

Well, yes, but . . . 

Tradition, culture — it can be puzzling.


Wishing you Happy Holidays, Peace and Joy

 * * *

Did you ever experience a bit of puzzling tradition celebrating holidays in foreign climes?

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{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Greg@Helsinki Blog December 22, 2012 at 5:14 pm

Actually we are cooking a Finnish Goose this Christmas
I am now wondering about your mothers chosen words of wisdom
Howver we wish to add stuffing in the cavity so I gather we will roast it
A 6.5 Kilo goose from a local farm here in Finland
Yum Yum!
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missfootloose December 22, 2012 at 7:54 pm

Yes, goose is delicious. You just have to know how to cook them right and collect the fat, which I’ve learned is very nutritious. Merry Christmas!


Welshcakes Limoncello December 23, 2012 at 12:17 pm

Merry Xmas from Sicily. x
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Ingrid December 24, 2012 at 1:19 pm

Wishing you a very Merry Christmas from Napoli where I am staying with my in-laws enjoying a fiest of pasta and fresh seafood.


guyana gyal December 24, 2012 at 9:28 pm

Psst…I always wonder the same as your mother, tee hee. But that’s not because of other people’s different traditions and cultures…those don’t puzzle me.

‘Tis because I’m a lazy cook 🙂
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YTSL December 25, 2012 at 8:53 am

Seasons greetings, Miss Footloose. I personally don’t celebrate Christmas but have always lived in countries where it’s a public holiday. So I treasure being on holiday on December 25th — and love that for the past few years in Hong Kong, I’ve found friends to go hiking with on that day. 🙂
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Turkey's For Life December 27, 2012 at 7:01 am

Hope you had a lovely Christmas. It’s a normal working day here in Fethiye but we manage to make our own stress-free fun. 🙂 The weather was amazing, as was yesterday, so it’s been time spent on the beach, too. Happy New Year to you and look forward to your posts in 2013.
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