This is our first European Christmas and I kind of like it. I would like it more of course if our family was here. Holidays are always different when you dont have family around. Sure- this is not our first Christmas that we are not spending with family BUT the difference is the distance. There is something weird about being just so far from home. The feeling is weird I guess because it is that much harder to make it home for Christmas. If our family lived on the east coast it would be easier but alas out family is all the way in CA. That's is seriously far from here.
I do like it here because it is very festive and peaceful. It seems like the Christmas Spirit is just sweeter here. I love all the Christmas markets that you can go to. They are fully decorated and have all these cute little shops that you can just stroll along and have a nice family evening. They sell YUMMY Gluhwein that is warm sweet wine and Gluhbier that is warm cherry beer. It is only €2.5 and you give them a €2 deposit on the glass. You can choose to keep the glass or turn it back in for your deposit. They have different ones based on where you are and what the vendor has. hmmmm I can see a gluhwein cup collection starting. :-)
When we did live near our family I remember the holiday struggle with who's house to go to first and when. Who would we spend Christmas with and who would do all the cooking and so forth. Back then it seemed like a stress just to have Christmas. I have told my husband many times since we have moved that I miss having so many options to choose from. The stress of having to choose where to go and when sounds mighty nice now.
It is true-- you don't know what you have until it's gone!!
No matter where you are or who you are with this Holiday Season remember to take a moment and think of all those who are alone, less fortunate or in harms way. Even if your times are tough there is ALWAYS someone who is worse off than you are. Keep your head strong and a smile on. This is a time of year to appreciate everything you have and think about what is important to you.
Many blessing to you and yours this Holiday Season!