Christmas in Wales

December 12, 2012

After I graduated from college I got a work visa for the UK. After weeks of looking for a nannying job, I found a family and booked a plane ticket to London without even a phone conversation with them.

I lived with Stephen, Ashley, and (then) baby Zach for 6 1/2 months. Stephen and Ashley are artists-- painters and print makers. We have been the best of friends since meeting. Zachary (now nine) and his sisters Rosie and Scarlet are my godchildren, and that job was one of the best things to ever happen to me.

The Christmas in Wales we spent together goes down as the most fun christmas ever. We were all short on cash, but incredibly resourceful-- focused on thrifting and creative gifting. Christmas was spent just the four of us, in our pajamas, with a stock pile of chocolate, champagne, and delicious ingredients. There wasn't a holiday obligation in sight.

I think of that Christmas a lot as Ben and I build our own family traditions. Christmas is the anniversary of our first date- which gives us even more of a reason to do fun things. We've started going ice skating and singing karaoke with friends on Christmas Eve Eve. Otherwise, traditions surround food-- a menu that's always changing depending on what we're excited by, a walk, an experimental cocktail or two. More relaxing, and less traveling, because it usually just leaves me stressed at this time of year. I'm inspired to do the simple things and enjoy them fully.

How do you balance family and holiday obligations with the things that bring you the most joy? What are your favorite traditions?


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