As you might have found out from my other posts, I was born and raised in Germany. My significant other on the other hand was born in Guyana and grew up in New York City. As you can imagine our cultural backgrounds are quite different. When it comes to a lot of life aspects, this allows for interesting conversations, readjustments and compromises. Additionally, life circumstances sometimes call for changes in plans as well and require us to make the best out of our situations.
We have been lucky enough to spend the past 3 Christmases together and will again this year. Each of these was very different, so we still have not built our permanent Christmas traditions, but it will be interesting what establishes in the future.
Christmas 2019 – Family in town
After 1.5 years of long distance, I managed to move to New York City. I had thrown my reservations over board and asked my company to transfer me to our New York office. This suddenly made the visa process very smooth and by the end of June 2019, I landed in the Big Apple and we moved into our first apartment together.
In December, my parents, my baby sister, my younger brother and his girlfriend decided to join us in New York for the holidays. It honestly meant a lot to have them in our new home town and have the people that mean so much to me get to spend time together. Because of us having been being scattered across the U.S. East coast and Germany, there had not been that much time for my family to get to know my significant other and vice versa. But Christmas gave us the opportunity to finally spend time together without being short on time.
My grandparents were in Connecticut for the holidays with my cousin and her family which prompted all of us to meet up there for a day. The house was full and loud and lovely. I especially enjoyed how my partner seamlessly integrated into our family circle, both in my core family as well as with my extended family. My grandpa actually went as far as telling me that my love is a “Menschenfänger” (people catcher) with his charming and warm way.
Christmas eve itself was spent at our apartment. He and I prepared a bunch of buffet style dishes since we did not have enough room to seat everyone for a proper sit down dinner. But I enjoyed having my family over and hosting them regardless. It just felt nice to have everyone together. The rest of their time in the city was spent sightseeing and this was another opportunity for my partner to shine. I really enjoyed and appreciated how my significant other managed to tune in with every single one of my family members and suggest activities and conversations that sparked their interest. It made my heart warm to witness it.
And on that note: Happy holidays to you and your loved ones! I hope you get to celebrate as best as you can considering this year’s unusual circumstances. Stay safe and healthy! 🎄🤶🎅
How about you?
What Christmas traditions have you built over the years?
Cover picture was taken in Manhattan, New York (USA) in Dec 2019