Holidays are a funny old thing when you are an Expat. You have to make the decision to stay home to be surrounded by your own things and relax or plan to travel to family or have them travel to you. There are so many factors that come into place in between all these plans and decisions, each year. We normally decide to travel to either Ireland for Mr P’s family or to America for my family, every other year. This makes it fair to each sides of the family. We love traveling with our kids but I always wonder what it would be like if we had the chance for everyone to come to our house for the Christmas holidays. Looking to the future, I can say that sadly and probably will never happen for various reasons. Not that it’s not a pure luxury being able to go home for Christmas, I am forever grateful I can do so and I can’t wait to be there this week to see my family in person. I can’t wait to hug them, hang out with them, catch up with them, and make memories with them. But celebrating Christmas outside your own home can be tough too. Planning the map for Santa to find us, figuring out present situations, hiding said gifts to sleeping arrangements, getting presents back home, and living out of a suitcase for a week during what should be the lazy week of the whole year can get challenging.
We have had such a busy year, a year full of bad news and ups and downs too, we are so ready to sit back and chill out. When you are visiting family you tend to want to pack everything in though too. Each day is a new sightseeing adventure or day out to experience. You don’t want to take your trip for granted. But for me, this visit is more of a recharge your batteries kind of Christmas visit. We will be at my brother’s house and my other brother and his family will join us boxing day (my birthday). I am planning nothing. That’s very rare for me. But I think I need it, the kids need it and I know my family will appreciate that too. I am looking forward to sleeping in late, each morning, lounging in my pjs, and just hanging around the house with my siblings. What’s better than that? No sightseeing and days out can give you that quality time like chilling in the same house together. I have been helping my brother on facetime make the house all festive for our arrival so the kids will think it’s just as magical as home would be. I can imagine he is sick of his postman arriving with boxes of things for us too. Even though packing seems daunting right now, I know once we get there and get settled in, it will be magical and merry just like Christmas should be.
I can hope to think one day we will be able to host Christmas though in our own house. When I have a house that can hold everyone, and put on a huge feast like my momma does or how my brother’s in laws do. It’s amazing feeling to have all those memories being made right in your own home too. To have your children open their eyes on Christmas morning and run downstairs screaming, “Santa came!” I clearly have been watching way too many Christmas movies. Being an Expat is tough and when the holidays roll around it can be even tougher if you can’t be with your family. I have been there too. So for any Expat that can’t make it to family this year, I am with you in the celebrating spirit kind of way!
So this week we are busy making sure everything is ready for the kids when they land on the other side. Car seats are borrowed, beds are being made on the floor, brother’s house is getting festive and Christmasy, and presents will have to wait to be wrapped on the other side of Customs. I will be playing Santa’s elf come Christmas Eve. Last minute, Christmas grocery shopping and a few last minute presents will need purchasing when we land too. Always comes down to those last bits and bobs doesn’t it?
I love making a little bit of a fuss over the kids Christmas outfits. We love to try to match the family up or at least coordinate. This year’s outfits are by Catimini. We are so excited to be teaming up with them to showcase some gorgeous pieces for boys and girls. I have bought a few outfits for MM in the past from them but I didn’t know they had a boys range too. Where have I been hiding? I was just as pleased with B’s outfit for this Christmas as I was MM’s outfit. They look so smart and grown up here. I love the way they coordinate together.
Catimini for Girls is always vibrant and full of colorful patterns which suits MM’s style so perfectly. This red sparkly sweater is so soft you will want to snuggle right up to your little one in it. I adore long sleeve dresses for winter on MM. They are thin material so they don’t get too hot. They look perfect with a sweater toss over top. This white and black one has to be my new favorite. I can’t wait for her to wear it for Christmas back home. I normally don’t put MM in black but she really suits it now that her hair has grown longer. Paired with her Bobux gold shoes, she is one Christmas outfit ready girl for celebrating. I know she will be so cozy in this outfit because Christmas is about lounging and being comfortable too. I don’t want to put them in anything they will be pulling on and getting annoyed with and wanting to take off before dinner time rings in.
Catimini for Boys is just as impressive. I was new to the boys range. The jeans are like shirt material so soft. B loves his sweatpants so these are firm favorite of his.He hates the feeling of rough jeans on. The pocket detail on the side pockets and back are a trendy touch. The boy likes comfort I can’t fault him in that. So, comfort is what he is getting on the big day. This Catimini sweater with it’s gorgeous detail and easy button close is the kind of sweater you want to chill out in. I love this look on him especially when he pops the collar. How grown up does he look all the sudden. Both of them really have changed so much the past few weeks. It’s amazing to witness.
Mr P and I will be wearing black, white and a dash of red to match which will make for great family photos. I love capturing our moments together but also making that little effort to coordinate for those snapshots that get taken on Christmas Day too.
Come Thursday we are off on our Expat Christmas adventures to down south in America to see my siblings and their families. May the weather be good, and the company be better. I can’t wait. It’s a nice feeling even if it’s not back home where I grew up to just be in my own homeland. Any Expat will know what I am talking about. To be surrounded by your own accent and just feel at home wherever that is in your own country. It’s also my birthday while we are there so I am excited to be spending it with two brothers and their partners too. We will celebrate in style, I hope. Come New Years we will be on our way back to the UK to ring in the New Year with a solid new year’s resolution list. I say it every year but I hope next year slows down a bit for us and brings us a bit of good news with it too.
HAPPY HOLIDAYS FROM THE LTM HOUSEHOLD. THANKS FOR READING MY BLOG!
*We were sent these outfits to test out but all opinions are my own.