And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.” Luke 2:10-11
“That’s what Christmas is all about Charlie Brown.”
This is our third Christmas spent in Durham. I can hardly believe it’s really been three years. Ben & I had fun trying to remember all of the Christmas’s we’ve spent together & we realized that this was our eighth Christmas together – that’s counting our first Christmas together in 2004, which was the year he proposed. I will always remember this Christmas a little differently, with Baby J on the way. We do miss family back home, and would love to be celebrating with them next Christmas. But, we have been so blessed by friends here in Durham, even being included in their family’s Christmas traditions.
Christmas Eve we spent with the Kirschenmann’s, an American family that also lives here in Durham. They have two teenage daughters and we had fun eating, playing games & bantering together. Being around teenagers just makes things feel like home to me. I guess that means I’ve been gone from home a long time – because all but one of mine and Ben’s siblings are out of their teenage years (don’t worry Syd, you’ll get there).
Christmas Day we spent with the Briggs’ & their three kids, along with two other American couples. They have a tradition of eating curry on Christmas day & it was great! No point in spending all day in the kitchen when there’s playing to be had. I was grateful they don’t have the tradition of eating Christmas pudding (a.k.a. dessert). I have to admit, I’m not a huge fan. It’s okay – but tastes more like glorified fruit cake, which I’ve never been keen on. One British tradition that we did partake of was of course opening up our Christmas crackers before our Christmas meal. For my American friends that aren’t in the know, Christmas crackers are little presents which look like a toilet paper rolls wrapped in Christmas wrapping paper & have ends to hold onto. They are usually filled with a bad joke, a trivia question, a little present, and then of course the best part – a crown which you wear through the entire meal. Everyone crosses their arms while holding onto a cracker on either side & then you all pull & see what you end up with. And like Dr. Who, it’s a silly and fun tradition that doesn’t take itself too seriously. (As a side note, many British families have the tradition of ending their Christmas day by watching Dr. Who, although our preferred poison is ‘Downton Abbey’). Also, many British families listen to the Queen’s speech Christmas day. Although we didn’t do this Christmas day, we did listen to it on you-tube today. And that my friends, was our British Christmas this year. Happy Christmas!
Christmas Eve at friends, the Kirschenmann's
My cute hubby trying on his new shoes
Almost ready for Christmas dinner at our friends the Brigg's - notice the box at the end of the table filled with Christmas crackers?
Opening our 'Christmas crackers' & exchanging bad jokes before our meal
Orrey & Kristi
Ben & Matthew having fun with the top from Ben's cracker
Richard makes a good trifle, and Orrey loves it. It's a yummy British pudding with several layers - one of fruit salad mixed with jello, another of pudding, and then topped with cream. I'm sure there's other things in there too, I just know I like it!