Changing Christmases

Growing up in Kansas, the holiday season was always a time of intensity and stress. Big family gatherings meant lots of arrangements, presents and preparation, plus in our family of mixed religious backgrounds, we always ended up trying to celebrate a little bit of everything – but I never felt like we fully landed on anything.

When I went to college and my parents moved to New Zealand, all of this came to an end. Now the holidays were about the winter break from classes and long distance phone calls – definitely less stressful, but also less celebratory.

Now that the move has become semi-permanent, my parents decided that my brother and I should get one annual visit each and this year we’ve all ended up in the same place for Christmas again, albeit halfway around the world from where we used to be. It’s been odd to listen to Christmas music with the windows open for the breeze, or to walk down the block looking at holiday lights in shorts and sandals.

But there’s huge rewards for if you can make the “difficult” adjustment : it turns out there’s nothing more relaxing or more joyous than a family Christmas picnic at the beach.

This post has been entered into the Grantourismo HomeAway Holiday-Rentals travel blogging competition

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  1. Grace @ Sandier Pastures’s avatar

    Christmas in Dubai can also be celebrated at the beach since it’s the loveliest time of the year. Good luck in the contest!


  2. Rebekah Zemansky’s avatar

    I bet Christmas there is amazing, and thank you! How long have you lived in Dubai?


  3. lara dunston’s avatar

    Great post, Rebekah! Like Grace, Terence and I celebrated many Christmas Day’s in Dubai and Abu Dhabi with dinner parties with foreign friends with the windows open to let in the balmy breezes, but as an Australian, our Christmas always involved loads of fresh seafood – decadent stuff like lobsters, crabs and prawns, and cold champagne – and wiping sweat from our brow as we ate, as it always seems like the hottest day of the year. I’ve loved having Xmas in Europe this year, but I missed the spending the sultry holiday ‘down under’ actually and your post triggered some lovely memories.

    Thank you so much for entering our competition! Best of luck!


  4. Nikki’s avatar

    I really like this post a lot! Good luck!


    1. Rebekah Zemansky’s avatar

      Thank you! I’m really enjoying your blog, but I’ll say more on that over there :)


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