Being an expat myself, I know how difficult being away from family over the holiday season can be. But, with that said, it’s also exciting to experience the magic of Christmas as celebrated in other countries. Today’s post is by a genuinely lovely lady who is also verging on being a Super-Mom! Find out how they spend Christmas in New York State!
#RealMomsWhoTravel Christmas Special ft Lauren with Christmas In New York State!
Lauren is actually my step-cousin, but we have only met a few times in real life. Her mom was a very special lady who is missed by our families every single day. Lauren is originally from Zimbabwe but has been living in New York State in America for many many years. She is an amazing mom to a perfect pigeon pair who I hope I get to meet IRL one day. On to the questions …
Will you be staying at home this festive season, or will you be travelling?
This is a rare year that we aren’t travelling. Usually, we make the 5-hour drive north from where we live in Upstate New York to New Hampshire. My husband’s parents live there in a small town called Cornish on a farm that has been in their family for 11 generations!
What do you miss about Christmas in Africa?
Once in a while, I miss having a summer Christmas. Where we live, winter can be anything from just absolutely freezing, or we could have a dump of 4 feet of snow. So, we are keeping it simple and staying local. I miss the braai or sit down roast we would have for lunch with family (usually the Woods) and making a full day of family festivities. We do the same now, but the weather definitely affects what we do, or how long we are out for!
What do you love about Christmas In New York State?
The whole “white Christmas” does have its perks. It’s beautiful when it’s clean and fresh! Although the last couple of years we haven’t had snow around over the holiday at all.
What is the one tradition from an African Christmas that you have carried over to your new life?
Americans LOVE to decorate (for all holidays) excessively early! Christmas trees get put up before it’s even December and stay up until well into January. I like to keep it closer to what I had in my childhood, which was around 12 days up before Christmas, and 12 days after. Also, when I’m on top of my game, Christmas crackers at the table!
What is your Number 1 tip for surviving travelling over the festive season?
For myself, and where we live, it’s crucial to plan ahead. We always aim to leave earlier so you don’t hit the traffic, or end up stranded because of winter weather! I don’t provide technology to my kids in the car on long trips personally. However, I do try to keep the kids busy with things they can do without my help. Also, stock up on foods they can eat with as minimal mess as possible. This saves the sanity of everyone!
What did you ask Santa for this year?
I am not a “physical gift” person. I’m more of an “experience as a gift” person. My husband and I love to try to gift each other something to do or experience either together, or separately. For example, he has paid for art classes for me with a local watercolour artist in our area, and I have sent him on a simple meditation retreat for some peace and quiet!
Merry Christmas Lauren!
Thanks so much, Lauren. Spoiler Alert: Visiting New York is on our bucket list so when it gets booked in I will definitely make contact and we can hopefully reconnect in person.
If you are spending the Christmas Holiday season away from your family, or cultural norm and would like to write a guest post for this series, please get in touch: firstname.lastname@example.org