Christmas 2012 was our first outside of Georgia. We were living in Vancouver at the time. Thankfully we had quite a few good friends around and it made things much easier.
Christmas 2013 was our first in Norway. Everything was new and it was cool to learn about the traditions. And to be honest, Zack’s horrible stomach flu made it hard to think too much about what we were missing.
But for whatever reason, our third Christmas away from the states seems to have hit us harder.
I hope this doesn’t come off as ungrateful. We are very happy here. We have good friends. We feel at home. We’ve been invited to a variety of activities and get-togethers during the holidays. We are attempting to make some of our own traditions. And we have really had a lot of fun the past few weeks. But some days are just harder than others. And the holidays can hit pretty hard.
Thankfully, we had a plan in place. We’ve learned that scheduling a trip just after Christmas works wonders. It provides a nice family gift without cluttering the house with things that are quickly forgotten. It gives us something to look forward to. And it minimizes the post-holidays blues (that seem to intensifying overseas). So we looked for the cheapest tickets and that is the main parties of our gift to each other as a family. Last year was Paris, and this year we ended up in Budapest. (Crazy as it sounds, it is almost always a good bit cheaper for us to fly to another country than to vacation somewhere in our country!)Weare currently enjoying a week of rest and relaxation, including time with some US friends we hadn’t seen in a long time. And lots of Mexican food, something we can’t get in Norway. In fact, we went out for Mexican food the last three nights!
Here are a few photos of our time here so far. I’ll share more in the coming days.