Cleaning up after Christmas isn't just about putting out the Christmas tree and packing away the lights. Many of us have had guests from our home country, or visited an adult child or some family member in another country; and while we know the joys of a cross-cultrual Christmas, we can admit there have been one or two challenges. And we are a little tired. Exhausted even. Your long haul flight looked like a vacation after the vacation.
Cultural Donimancy defines the culture that gets to make the decisions in any given situation. If we've been in someone else's culture for a week or two, where they get to say how we serve the big lunch, toast the Queen or attend church at midnight we may now need a little time to recover! One mum/mom I spoke to the other day told me of the sheer exhaustion of following Japanese rules for three weeks. She was in the home of her daughter who has married into a lovely Japanese family. She loves her family but oh, she longed for a nativity somewhere in and among the Shinto and Buddhist temples! Anyone for a Christmas carol? This mummom nearly kissed the tarmac when she and her husband arrived back at Heathrow.
I've had my (American) sister visiting over Christmas and to say she was a good sport would be a British understatement. We had such a blast catching up and I found it hard to stop hugging her she was so much fun! She loved the Regent Street Angel lights in London and seeing the English side of the family, but what a challenge when it came to playing Charades, English Christmas Style! (Funny hats from "crackers," and TV programmes you have never in your life thought were part of the local tradition)
So cheers to all who added the cross-cultural bit to the normal challenges of family celebrations! Give yourself a little recovery time, where you can give thanks for safe flights, people meeting you (or not) at the airport and presents you managed to squish in your suitcase. As for me, my New Year's Introvert's Recovery from all this excitement will be learning to make bread. I don't want the quick bake variety. I need to knead! Kneading equals reflection time and thinking about how to store American ornaments into English storage boxes. And how I need to eat healthily after consuming celebratory food from two countires. And I'll link to a great blog that I found while searching for breadmaking inspiration. It's by a lady from Texas who relocated to a tiny kitchen somewhere up north. It's called FauxMartha. Enjoy.
A very Happy New Year to you and your cross-cultural family.
Love and blessings,
ps will post bread roll photo when I get a result!