Celebrating the Holidays in a New Place? It's Time to Get Creative!

Posted on December 10 2019

Celebrating the Holidays in a New Place? It's Time to Get Creative!

I have spent most of my life celebrating Christmas in Oregon. My favorite part of the holiday is the scent of the Douglas fir tree, the cedar garlands, and of course, the holiday treats baking in the oven! 


But this year, Tom and I are in Buenos Aires, Argentina, where we are eagerly awaiting the birth of our first grandchild ANY DAY NOW. 


It's a super exciting time, for sure, but celebrating Christmas in summertime weather (and in a place with no real Christmas trees or even an oven) is a creative challenge. 


Thankfully, there was a thunderstorm the other day. When it was over, I walked to the nearby botanical garden and picked up a bagful of fallen foliage, cones and seed pods. Our studio apartment doesn't smell like the Christmases of my youth or the ones we created for our four daughters when they were little, but it's got a charm all its own. 


Over the years, I have spent Christmases in many different places, and I've learned to celebrate in simple ways using whatever I can find. That tea photo above? Just a cinnamon stick from the produce market across the street and one of the aforementioned bits of thunderstorm detritus. (And a glass straw in forest green, of course!) It was a fun way to add the delightful aroma and flavor of cinnamon (I soaked the stick in my tea) with the scent of greenery right up next my nose. (It's not very fragrant otherwise!)


Now, maybe you're just in a new apartment or home rather than a whole different country and culture. That can still feel disorienting, especially if you've downsized and don't have all your familiar decorations and traditions in place. Instead of feeling like you're missing the old, look for ways to create brand new mini-celebrations every day. Something as simple as a new Christmas mug with a new favorite beverage (and maybe even a glass straw!) can make the holidays feel both fresh and festive. 


Even in situations that don't feel Christmasy AT ALL (one day off in fake Paris in China, anyone?), there are surprisingly simple ways to find joy and create truly lasting memories. (We did it by taking silly photos of ourselves wearing berets.)


Wherever you are this holiday--and whether you're celebrating Hanukkah, Christmas, or Kwanzaa--I invite you to find joy in the simplest ways. 


Thank you so much for your support this year. It means the world to me. I wish you joy and true connection this holiday.


Now, when's that grandbaby coming? :-) 


With love,

Maya xo

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