Monday, December 17

Christmas In New York City

Tomorrow morning will be drizzly and grey, like this morning, and the morning before it. We'll be getting up early to straggle into a taxi and fly over the continent from Vancouver to the bright cold of New York City, where my family lives. The City is a wonderful place to spend Christmas... full of lights, and window displays, an abundance of restaurants and excellent shopping. And I love the way that my family celebrates Christmas; it's warm, and fun, and elaborate. It may not compare to the fun we had when my grandmother Oma was alive and Christmas was an extended family affair, but it's wonderful nonetheless. And there is always tons of delicious food involved.

Part of the reason I'm so happy to celebrate the holiday with my family is because celebrating it alone with my husband Gordan doesn't really work. He grew up in communist Yugoslavia, where Christmas was viewed as primitive and bourgeois. What did they celebrate in the winter instead? New Year's Eve! And how did they celebrate it? Why, of course--with a New Year's Eve tree! And New Year's Eve presents! And lots of food, and parties, and Jack Frost also brings presents, and... I never quite understood why his enthusiasm for New Year's couldn't transition over to Christmas. (Meanwhile on New Year's he's afflicted with yugonostalgia, which is not very celebratory either. The crowd of Bosnian friends here gets together, sing lots of Yugoslavian pop songs, then Gordan gets morose and grouchy and we go home.) However he loves a good party of any kind, which my family certainly knows how to throw, big or small... so I'm hoping we can bring some of that holiday cheer back with us.

My shopping for presents is basically done, thanks to the internets. I might get a few more trinkets to give. One thing I am thrilled to have pulled off this year: I am sending a certain someone in my life this notice regarding their new monkey. I got Dragana to write in it--so that the recipient sees no familiar handwriting--"You're going to love this! From, Liz" because of course there are so many Liz's in the world. Dragana's going to Trinidad for Christmas (ah, the benefits of being partnered with a sailor) so she'll post it from there--an appropriate location for a monkey import company, I think. Oh, I really hope my mother falls for it.

I must admit that I never got around to decorating our apartment here. First, the building doesn't allow live Christmas trees--which is actually okay by me. However I always buy a wreath instead, and I haven't come across any this year. I also planned to get more strings of lights, and to tie a bunch of brass bells onto a big red ribbon and hang them about, and to make and buy more little hanging decorations... doves and stars and glass balls, I have in mind. Gordan and I have agreed that we'll continue to decorate (in other words, start to decorate) when we return. Perhaps the stuff will be on sale then? And as Gordan says, we can be decorating for Orthodox Christmas, which is on 7th of January. I'm browsing photos of decorations on flickr for inspiration, and finding plenty. How did your seasonal decorating go?

No comments:

Post a Comment