An Expat Christmas

Because we will be in Italy on Christmas Eve and Christmas day, Jesse and I cheated and exchanged gifts early.

(I can’t believe I just wrote that sentence.  I can’t believe that we are going to Italy for Christmas.)

Jesse bought me a new watch–somehow I broke mine in the process of landing on my chin at the bus stop in November.  He also picked out some wonderful presents from the Christmas market: a colorful hand-woven rug made by an elderly Hungarian lady from Transylvania, and a ceramic mug with a hand painted picture of Debrecen’s iconic yellow Nagytemplom.  The mug is perfect for large cups of chai tea and hot chocolate.

I love that these presents were purchased either from small businesses or directly from the person who made them.

Due to the wonders of the internet, Jesse and I bought presents for our family with a few clicks of a mouse (and our credit card information is now floating all over cyber space).  I bought presents from a fair trade website.  Consider checking it out the next time you’re looking for a unique gift or a piece of home decor!

Last Saturday, I went to a Christmas party hosted by a CETP teacher.  In a wonderful blend of Hungarian and American Christmas traditions, we sipped mugs full of forralt bor (hot spiced wine) while having a hilarious white elephant gift exchange.  After much stealing and trading, I ended up with some Hungarian wildflowers.

The packet is in Hungarian, ancient Hungarian runes, and English:

As I walked from the bus station to my friend’s apartment, I watched the rain turn into large, frozen blobs.  It took my brain a minute to register what these were: snowflakes.  The snow actually stuck around overnight.  This was the view from my apartment on Sunday morning:

We will definitely miss our family on Christmas day, but we have found many ways to enjoy the holiday season in Hungary.


Filed under Holidays, Hungary

2 responses to “An Expat Christmas

  1. Melody

    Haha I love the first 3 sentences. I was even thinking after your first sentence, oh to be able to say “I’ll be in Italy.” Sigh, someday. Kudos to you for living the dream. =) We need to talk soon!!!

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