This is our third Christmas away from our Australian family and friends, and we sure miss the traditions we remember back in Adelaide, South Australia.
For us, Christmas always started in November. We put up the Christmas tree and decorated it very early. We owned about 50 Christmas movies and we would watch one every night. We would make decorations, string popcorn, and we were the house that had the large inflatables and light displays out on the front lawn that turned out to be traffic stoppers.
But for us this year it was very different. We had planned to be in Turkey house-sitting, but that never worked out, and so as we talked, Explorason decided we should head for snow. He didn’t want to celebrate Christmas in a non-Christian and Muslim country. After all, last year in 2012 we were in Cuba, and it was a hard finding anything Christmas related there.
So we decided to head to Romania and were pretty pleased when some fellow travelers (and bloggers) invited us to join them for Christmas Day celebrations.
Explorason was adamant we get our own apartment so that the tree and gifts were in a separate room from where we slept, and he could wake up to his gifts (with a little of the tradition we used to do back at home in Australia).
Residence Ambien Apartment Manager kindly offered us a Christmas tree, with some decorations and lights, so we really thank them for that too.
We had collected key rings and trinkets from each country we had visited in the last year, and so we set to hang those on the tree. This is a great hint to collect if you are traveling, and they take hardly any space.
On the lower left, you can see a traditional Ottoman Turkish house light – this was around $5 in Safranbolu, Turkey.
And we must remember to hang our stockings. These are hand-knitted socks, also from Turkey that we discovered on a day trip out whilst we were there house-sitting. We found these at a local market.
Whilst we house-sat, we made paper snowflakes, angels, and snowmen. We collected and painted pinecones, and we even found mini holly and painted gum nuts as berries. We couldn’t find Christmas wrapping papers, so we used some Greek posters we had, and also cut up gift bags and decorated colored paper.
By the time we were done, we were ready for the “big day”.
We had one very excited boy on Christmas morning.
A lot of our gifts were things we had bought for ourselves as keepsakes along the way, but there were a few surprises – and as a single Mum that had been hard to achieve. Explorason had also chosen a few things for me where I had handed him the money in a store, and been told to turn my back.
By lunchtime, we were ready to go and meet our friends who had rented quite the mansion in the hills on the outskirts of Brasov quite near the skiing area.
We had all caught up two days earlier to visit the fantastic Bear Sanctuary and enjoy a picnic lunch together afterward. We then all headed to the famed Dracula’s Castle (which is a myth) and is Bran Castle.
That day the kids and adults all got to know each other.
We had earlier this year met the Australian Bender Family from Explore With Erin at a Greece Travel Blogging conference called TBEX. But this was the first day we had met the American King Family from A King’s Life who currently live in Bali, Indonesia.
When we arrived it was the usual crazy kitchen antics, with some great aromas emitting from the bubbling pots on the stove top.
The kids set were very excited to decorate their own cookies.
Sprinkles decorated more of the table than the cookies, and delighted little fingers readily ate their artwork.
Explorason set to creating and decorating the Gingerbread House.
Hungry little ones were the first at the table, all ready to enjoy the Christmas Day feast.
I was really impressed at how well mannered all the children were, and I think this really has to do with them all being exposed to such a variety of world dining experiences with their travels.
Erin Bender delighted us with desserts fit for a king, but then we did have the Kings dining with us!
Even though we were on the other side of the world .… And …. even though we had the remains of snow outside …. And …. even though we were new friends, this became our Christmas Day – and it was just lovely.
After lunch as the adults relaxed with a drink around the dining room table, the children gathered on the sofa. They all played together so well – this was another great thing we all noticed too.
We all socialized together until quite late that Christmas night.
When we returned to our apartment we felt like we had really had a great day, and were really happy, and had really appreciated their hospitality.
From our family to your family, we would like to wish you a (late) Merry Christmas and a blessed and Happy New Year. May 2015 be a year where you see dreams come true.
We hope in 2015 you can continue to follow our world journey, and we thank you for being part of it so far.
We all wonder where we will all be next Christmas Day in 2015?
Questions and Comments
- Are you a family that travels permanently?
- How do you celebrate events that mean so much to you when you are far from home?
- What fascinates you about Romania?
- How do you find a balance between family, your career and recreation, especially if you are a single parent?
- Do share your experiences, opinions, and comments with us below.