As I sit around my house and look at the Christmas decorations we have set out this year, it makes me think about all the expats I know who have a spouse/significant other from another nationality.
It is because as I look at our Nisse Calendar Candle (DANISH) which is sitting next to our stockings (AMERICAN), I think about how many people tell me how sad that they get at this time of the year because they have "left all their home country's traditions behind" and are trying to adapt to the new country's traditions.
And to that, I say "BALONEY".
Mads and I come from two different countries (which sometimes feels like two different worlds! LOL) that celebrate Christmas in two different ways. And our home reflects them BOTH. I brought all my Christmas stuff with me when I moved, and we have created an incredibly cozy holiday season the last 4 years with a blending of both cultures. We have also promised our families that we will "hold Christmas" with them every other year so that way everyone can plan accordingly and no one misses out all the time... It takes saving up our money to make sure that we can be in the US every other Christmas, but it is a choice we make because it is important to us and to them.
This may sound too organized for your taste, but I think it is CRITICAL that when couples come from two different nationalities, they MUST create their own family traditions together and those traditions MUST include something from both of their worlds..... Take the best from both worlds, add your own special twist to them and make new traditions. Then instead of getting sad about the holiday season rolling around, you get excited about unpacking the things that you have gathered TOGETHER.... It really is a GREAT way to usher in the season!