Expat: unpacking our Christmas

Unpacking our Christmas

When we left the UK, with the teeny tiny air freight shipping allowance (which was almost entirely taken up by the kids toys, books and clothes), our Christmas decorations had to be left behind.

When we celebrated our first Christmas here in the US I went out and bought a tree and enough decorations to make it look pretty. A few extra sets of lights and a wreath for the front door made us feel Christmassy, and was good enough. But it wasn’t quite the same.

When our entire house contents arrived in a container over the summer, I knew that our Christmas boxes were in there somewhere. I was more excited about them than anything else, even my shoes!

Today, I began to unpack our decorations. Old favourites were discovered, and rediscovered. Santa hats were worn.

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There are still a few things to find in the garage, the boxes really are never ending! And there are decisions to be made as we combine the new and the old. The American and the British. Colour schemes, styles, duplicates.

Decorations don’t make Christmas, friends and family do, but when you are far from home the familiar is important. Christmas is one time of the year when the familiar really can make all the difference.

Three years after the boxes were last packed, there were a few forgotten gems. But mainly, the boxes were special and memory filled. They had been missed, and unpacking them was really quite magical.


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34 thoughts on “Expat: unpacking our Christmas”

  1. A fellow ex-UK family blogger! I’m with you all the way on unpacking the decorations, I love it. And adding one or two new ones to the collection every year. This year we’re doing a monster-length road-trip home with the new baby so our house is devoid of tree and decorations will stay in the box. I feel a bit sad about it. On the massive plus side, we’ve got a new baby to show off :) Have a wonderful festive season! – #MagicMoments

  2. I can’t imagine moving halfway around the world and not even having my Christmas decorations full of memories of the kids growing up! I bet you were so excited when December arrived and you were able to pop open the boxes and peer inside at all your Christmas memories! Popping by from Magic Moments.

  3. How exciting to be unpacking the Christmas boxes again and reliving memories from the last Christmas when they were used. Sounds like you had a magical time unpacking them :-) #whatsthestory

  4. Beautiful trimmings! My boxes come out of the attic steps once a year, and I’m giddy with excitement. I can only imagine what it must be like for you and your family! It will certainly make for a happy Christmas #magicmoments

  5. I can understand your feelings on this…
    We rented a house for twelve months with the intention of buying one so, me being optimistic, only unpacked what we really needed and the rest stayed in boxes. So when we moved twelve months later, it was quite nice to be unpacking things I’d actually forgotten about.
    Lovely post, Sara X

  6. That’s so lovely! I totally know what you mean about the sentimental value of decorations. We’re building up a collection of our own now, but I love helping to decorate my parents’ tree with ornaments going back to when I was little… It definitely helps to add to the magic of Christmas! Xx

    1. It really does, and although we don’t yet have a huge collection, we do already have decorations that hold memories x

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