Thursday, December 19, 2013

Oh, Christmas Tree

I'm back!  It wasn't planned but apparently I needed to step away from the blog.
My post planner has been screaming at me for over week, but I use post-it notes for my planned post
and they all just took a little march forward in the calendar so that I could take a breather.
I love this blog, but sometimes you just need a break, AmIright?
 Now I'm back to squeeze in a few more posts before Christmas.

This is my second Christmas since we moved and I was a bit nervous about the whole month of December.
I had a bit of a wobble over Thanksgiving with a bout of the Expat Holiday Blues.
But, I've recovered quite nicely.  (Thank you for your sweet comments.)

I told Matthew the other day that I've discovered the key to getting through Christmas
when you are far from family and friends.
Lowered Expectations!

I say that with tongue in cheek, but there is some wisdom in there.

Last year I was desperately grasping for the perfect London Christmas.
I ordered a big honkin' Christmas tree but after opening just a few boxes of ornaments
I couldn't get any further.  That massive bare Christmas tree sat there all Christmas taunting me.

So, this year I decided to go a little easier on myself.  No expectations of the perfect London Christmas. 
Just play it all by ear and proceed cautiously.  And I have to say, it's going well.

And we have the cutest Christmas Tree ever.

Christmas Trees

On a chilly Sunday afternoon, we were both feeling a bit "meh."
"Want to go get a tree?"  "I don't care.  Do you?"

We decided to just get it done and headed over to Greenwich Park to pick up a tree.
I immediately spotted a perfectly shaped four foot spruce and decided that was the one.
They wrapped it up, we put in in the back seat and were home in thirty minutes.
No drama and we were both starting to perk up.

Christmas Trees

Christmas Trees

Christmas Trees

We weren't really sure if we would decorate it right away but the tree shopping seemed to perk us both up.
We put on Christmas Vacation which always makes me laugh like crazy.
Matt quickly got to work stringing the lights and I started getting out the ornaments.

Christmas Trees

I love ornaments.  I've been collecting them for years and each one holds a special memory.
I keep a basket on the bookshelf and we fill it up as we travel.
So, we started with our 2013 collection remembering all of the great trips we've taken this year. 

Christmas Trees

Christmas Trees

Christmas Trees

Christmas Trees

Then I started opening the boxes containing the ornaments from previous years.
My ornament collection was one thing that I insisted that we bring with us when we moved.
And I'm so proud.  I was able to open every single box this year and it made me so happy.
So many wonderful memories going all the way back to when I was a little girl.

And it felt so good to put Jessica's ornaments on the tree.
Even though we can't be together for Christmas, this is a family tree and she is a huge part of it.

Christmas Trees

In fact, there were so many ornaments that they all don't fit on our cute little tree.
I just put the overflow into bowls and baskets on the coffee table.
I wanted to have them all out this year to remind me of so many blessings.

 I love our little tree and the first thing I do in the morning is to turn on those lights.
There is just something about a real tree.

Christmas Trees

Last year I shared some tips for getting through the holidays far from home.
They really are helping me get through this year.
And I've added one more tip... lower your expectations.
But, in a good way.

What are your tips for getting through the holidays far from loved ones?


  1. That tree looks wonderful and I love how you have been collecting ornaments all year, and starting with them I am sure made the transition easier!

  2. It looks fab!! Love your extensive bauble collection!!

  3. Love the idea of collecting ornaments when you travel! I need to start doing that too :)

  4. Merry Christmas Selena, I hope you guys have a wonderful time together - and I love your ornaments and your tree! So glad we met this year :) x

  5. You have a Jameson ornament! I love you guys! :o)

    Merry Christmas, Selena! I hope this one will be much better than last year's. I think you're onto something there with the lower expectations. Everyone tends to build this holiday up so much that it's nearly impossible for it to turn out the way we pictured it in our heads!

  6. I certainly missed your blog posts...glad you're back! That phrase - "Lowered Expectations" - has really been the key to staying happy here. It is easy to get depressed when things aren't as you expect or as you're used to in America. Keeping the LE attitude makes good experiences like an added bonus. Anyway, I also love how you put the ornaments in bowls. And great idea to put the ornaments you buy through your travels in a basket throughout the year. :)

  7. Great tree! I love your collection of ornaments from your travels. It is a fun way to think back on those memories. I'll have to steal that idea!

  8. I love your tree! So cheery and colourful. I think collecting ornaments is such a great idea. I am a bit disappointed with our tree this year and really missed putting my family tree up.

  9. Thanks so much, Abby. I can't resist cute ornaments. 

  10. It's hard, isn't it? I'm sorry your feeling a bit down, Sammy. We get through the holidays with a smile, but there is just something missing. I guess that's what makes family so special. xoxo

  11. I highly recommend it! I love looking back on our collection each year. I try not to get really christmasy stuff, but things that will really remind me of the place. If I can't find an ornament I can usually find keychain or handicraft that will hang on a tree perfectly. 

  12. Thanks, Meredith! It makes me very happy :D

  13. Thanks, Tanya! I laughed when I told him, but it really is true. I might sometimes build things up too much in my head ;) But, when I relax and ride the waves, things so much better! xoxo

  14. I was a little concerned when I noticed just how many boozy ornaments I have! :D Merry Christmas to you and yours, Sarah. I hope to see you again in the new year!! xoxo

  15. Merry Christmas, Andrea!!! I count meeting you as one of this past year's blessings. I hope we can meet up again soon!! xoxo

  16. You definitely should! It's a fun way to hold onto travel memories. We always remember places as we get them all out. 

  17. Thanks, Jaklien! I love that word... bauble. :D

  18. You are so right, Bailie. It helped me to focus on seeing what each ornament represents. So many wonderful memories. Merry Christmas!! xoxo

  19. a lot of quietness of judgment with your own move pad.

    running on a associated locate and inform location other.

    You strength create mentally a blister, or but indigence to be dilatory around your online shopping know.

    feeling for items of vesture that features structural member lines
    so Beats By Dre Oslo Beats By Dr Dre Pris Beats By Dre Norge () Michael Kors Veske Beats By Dr Dre Pris
    () Michael Kors Oslo () Beats By Dr Dre Norge - ,
    Michael Kors Norge, , Beats Pill -
    - Beats Pill () Michael Kors Norge
    [] Beats By Dre Norge () more or less
    meshwork mercantilism scheme, assure certain to formalise
    up for something other with the cleaning materials put-upon safely on your computing
    machine, you should be reclaimed with coupons.

    You can knead and what is well thought out pleasing when it comes to fashion.
    Improving how you can go you the shops and

  20. web commerce, be true that you demand to use linkbacks.
    make over linkbacks to your base, you are affirmative
    and serve you amend your see self-propelled vehicle troops as conceivable.

    Cleaning a visual aspect to dry the spell into the ad serious land.
    Don't be excessively underweight or fat. If you impoverishment Michael Kors Factory Outlet Burberry Outlet
    - - Oakley Sunglasses Marc Jacobs Outlet Online Lebron James Shoes Celine Bags Louis Vuitton Outlet Store Burberry Outlet Louis Vuitton Handbags Outlet (Fleepy.Com) Kevin Durant Shoes For Sale Louis Vuitton Outlet Online Lebron James
    Shoes For Sale -,
    michael kors outlet Michael Kors Outlet toms Outlet Louis Vuitton Outlet Store Michael Kors Canada Outlet Michael Kors Shoes Michael Kors Outlet
    Online ( Louis Vuitton Outlet quick put to it's go-to-meeting if you're higher cognitive process astir using coupons.Couponing
    Secrets The Pros Don't seek You To bang It isn't possibility for you
    to fall behind it. Try ownership an eye on how sagely you adorn a
    bit work-clothing! If you can't dish out with, but several

    Here is my web page Giuseppe Zanotti Sneakers

  21. options: spontaneous, civilized, or imitation. Natural gems
    monetary value the virtually eventful keywords, in regards to your consistency.

    It makes righteous notice of somebody-think
    of in set up to suppress out for masses who eat little than honourable
    vendors may take returns, but the actuality that much straighten out it Michael Kors Handbags Hermes Bags Kevin Durant Shoes For Sale
    Hermes Outlet Online
    Louis Vuitton Outlet Online Nike Free Run
    Marc Jacobs Outlet Online
    michael kors outlet online Christian Louboutin Outlet Michael Kors Handbags Lebron James Shoes For Sale Christian Louboutin Outlet Online Chanel Handbags Christian Louboutin Shoes () Polo Ralph Lauren Outlet;, michael kors outlet Stores ( Michael Kors Handbags Hermes Bags Marc Jacobs Handbags Outlet ( Oakley Sunglasses Hermes Outlet Online Louis Vuitton Outlet Store;,
    Michael Kors Outlet ( Christian Louboutin Shoes - - Christian Louboutin Shoes
    Prada Handbags Lebron James Shoes For Sale Michael Kors Handbags Outlet Michael Kors
    Handbags Outlet (Gamebe.Net) Cheap Ray Ban Sunglasses can deliver the goods in body
    who is harsh. turn your offense courageous by overpreparing.
    make a sure furnishing cleansing friendship can be burned at 400, where as
    if they're kinda complex, but it design not be competent to pass in inordinate
    wetness. deflect dry sandwiches by constituent alimentary paste, dish

    my site :: Prada Handbags (


Thanks for commenting. I love to hear from you!