Thursday, December 3, 2015

Decorating for Christmas

When I was little, we always read this book during Advent about this family who did something Christmas-y every day of Advent.  Some years, we would try and do something similar and I figured that it would be a good idea to do this here to help us get in the Christmas spirit. I'm dreading the actual Christmas Day/Christmas Eve since it will be so different from what I'm used to.  I don't even know if we'll have a Christmas Eve mass to go since I've yet to find a church here.  We are having fun decorating and doing Christmas-y things throughout Advent, though, so that's good.

On Sunday, we bought our Christmas tree from IKEA.  I always swore that I would never have a fake Christmas tree in my house, but I also never thought I'd be living in Turkey where they don't celebrate Christmas.  In fact, the Turks call Christmas trees "New Year's Trees."  We didn't have time to decorate it until Monday, so that was our Monday thing.

We can't put lights on the tree or around the house because of the voltage, which is sad, so it looks a little bare, but I think I'll string some popcorn later on this month to put around.

As we were putting up the tree, Mike found this guy and made sure he was the first decoration up (besides the tree).  He has claimed his spot next to the scotch so that he never misses a nightcap!
Tuesday, we put up our nativity. I wanted to make sure this was one of the first things we did, just to help us remember why we're celebrating.  I got this set from my grandmother's house and I'm not really sure who the third person is (Mary, Joseph, and....), but I figured Mike and I should join them in the celebration, hence our picture in the background :)

Yesterday, we mailed some Christmas spirit out in the form of cards.  We were kind of limited on who we could send them to, but I wanted to do Christmas cards.  I'm really trying not to let the fact that we're in Turkey change that much.  Today, we unpacked the rest of our decorations and put them up.  Before we moved, we took a bunch of decorations that were sitting in Mike's dad's basement.  As I was unpacking, I realized that we ended up taking a bunch of nutcrackers and other figurines.  Ha!  We don't have any wreaths or garland because we figured they wouldn't travel well to Turkey, so we've just got a bunch of different nutcrackers, Santa Clauses and snowmen scattered around our living room.  It's kind of funny.

I swear one day I'll finish this puzzle....

All of these nutcrackers are a set and I wanted to keep them together since they're called the "Nutcracker Village"

Fun fact: The North Pole sign that Santa is holding is actually pointing north.

Santa, some carolers and our wedding party :)

The cookie jar snowman.  You can have a cookie after you take your vitamins and drink your coffee.

And how could we forget Santa himself?

We are learning the past tense in my Turkish class, so I was telling them all of the things we've been doing this week.  They were really surprised that we were already decorating for Christmas because they said it was too early! I think they'd be shocked to find out some people start decorating the day after Halloween in the United States!