For the first eighteen years of my life, the holiday season was pretty much the same in the best way possible. Thanksgiving was spent eating my uncle’s famous brussels sprouts (with bacon!) and M&M turkeys. The month of December was filled with choreographed Christmas dances with my cousin Lauren and little brother. Christmas Eve would include a late lunch with friends, our evening church service and a traditional English dinner with the exchange of gifts and new PJs with all of my cousins. On Christmas morning, my little brother and I would wake up ridiculously early and stare, starry eyed, at our gifts glistening under our tree until my mom & dad fueled up with enough coffee to get the festivities rolling. Needless to say, I love traditions and I loved the holidays growing up. In fact, I think that is why I love the holiday season so much now, as an adult (well…I still don’t consider myself an adult haha…).
But between moving across the country (and now the world) and familial changes, traditions are changing too and the holiday season I grew up with is tucked fondly in my memory. I would be lying if I said I don’t miss it. In fact, a part of me is sad that that chapter of my life is mostly over and that this Christmas, I won’t be spending it at my snowy home in Utah but rather in Amsterdam. However, I am ready and excited to embrace these changes with open arms and create new and memorable traditions. Here are some of the ways I plan on celebrating this holiday season, despite being in a different country & far from many loved ones.
How I Plan On Making The Most of the Holiday Season
- Baking my favorite treats from home. This week, I attempted this by trying to bake my favorite pumpkin pie (along with a few other pumpkin desserts). Unfortunately, the entire country of the Netherlands doesn’t sell pumpkin puree (well, at least the stores I went to didn’t). I’m looking forward to attempting again with my mom’s best sugar cookies in December.
- Finding fun celebrations where I am. Already, I am stoked that Amsterdam puts up a giant tree in the main square and has an ice skating rink near my favorite museum. Going to these festive locations will help me get into the spirit of the season!
- Decorating my little dorm room! I have a lot of fun and exciting dorm decor ideas for this holiday season! I will be doing a whole post on it later in November so check back for that 🙂
- Planning a gift exchange with friends. I think gift exchanges are so much fun and I am excited to plan one with my girlfriends here.
- Keeping in touch with friends and family. Just because I am not physically present, does not mean that I can’t still celebrate with my family. Now, with FaceTime and SnapChat, it is easier than ever to stay connected.