Helping Expats Relocate
If you have read Parents on the Move! you will know all about the dinner party test. See the home-photo to the left? That's me starting to prepare for Level 4 celebratory mode! Palm Tree in the corner, Nativity on the window mantel; and I'm happiest when all sorts of cultures sit around the table. So, I'm thinking about who's coming and how I will decorate as a Florida girl in Surrey.No cultural dominancy for me!
How will you be happiest, instead of simply "surviving" Christmas overseas?Have a look at the Dinner Party Levels below and see which one is your best fit! You can do this!
If you are a Level 1: you are heading back to your home country so you won't need to even think about a menu or who to invite! (Mind you, you have other things to think about and I will be Tweeting some solutions from some great family blogs.You might, however; load up on home-country decorations while you are there, incase you find that one year you just can't get on a plane!
Level 2: You might not be heading home, but everyone around your table will be from your country of origin and you will have sourced every available food from your culture and had it delivered. Your kids will think this is the definition of Christmas!
Level 3: Not heading home, but perhaps inviting people from your home country or even those who have lived in your home country and understand your way of celebrating. You might add a little token touch from your host country. If your language skills are improving, you might attend a Christmas service nearby!
Level 4: Where ever you celebrate Christmas (and you are seriously not bothered) you might have several cultures around the table, and want to give various traditions a go. Are you in the UK? It's time to try out those crazy British party hats. Of course, if you are American like me, you will add a candy cane to the table. A German center piece? A Jamaican dish? Add in a Mexican pinata for after dinner entertainment. It's all welcome!
Level 5: You are determined to take on the traditions of your host country. After all, that's what you are here for; to learn about Host Country ways. You don't even google where to find home celebratory comforts. What ever the locals do- you are up for it! Where ever you move next, you will always remember this as your "South African Christmas," or "Canadian Christmas." Just remeber to label the photos, as after awhile these celebrations might all roll into one!
Level 6: You have what is to me, a hard row to hoe. Us Level 4's can't stand cultural dominancy; but you are all over the concept of celebrating in Host Country ways. Unlike, Level 5; you will have plenty of time to get better at this.You will source those items that mean Christmas in Italy or Hungary, or wherever. It will become your own.....though you might like a Christmas care package from your mom/mum!
Level 7: Who cares? No one knows you come from anywhere other than where you are right now! Just enjoy the rescue mission that was and is Christ.
My prayer is that we all gather somewhere in worship to thank Father God, for sending His Son who has invited us to THE multi-cultural feast of all time! Let's remember, and pray for those not living in freedom.