Anyone that know me knows how much I LOVE Christmas, and all things Christmassy – the tree, the decorations, mince pies & mulled wine which is always offered in my house from December 1st whatever the time of day! Praise be for LIDL’s bottled mulled wine, OK it is not quite as good as a home-made version, but still a great handy alternative – pop a mug of that in the microwave for 2 minutes and Ho Ho Ho.
Christmas music is particularly important and has to be VERY CHEESY and played VERY LOUD (well hello again Mariah & Wham), as are my sparkly snowflake deeley boppers and Elf T-Shirt, which must be worn at every available opportunity. And of course the real reason for the season should not be forgotten – PRESENTS ! Gotcha …. yes I do know that the whole baby Jesus / God thing is quite important too.
Christmas Past – Christmas Jumpers and Angels (Sorry Niffa but I could not resist sharing this pic of us x)
I was most concerned when we moved to Cyprus in 2014 about being here at Christmas time, as without the potential of snow, roaring log fires, Christmas markets, Greggs the Bakers mince pies (THE BEST MINCE PIES EVER!), and lack of extended family to share the big day, that it would just not feel the same. But I have been pleasantly surprised at the way Christmas is embraced by Cyprus, in a very positive way, it is not so commercial and more about family than presents (a very good thing), but it is certainly celebrated.
To ensure it truly is the happiest season of all for my little family of three, we have embraced and created new traditions including:
- A Christmas Eve family walk on the beach … and compulsory photo in short sleeves for the folks back in freezing Blighty
- A sack of goodies for H which contains new PJ’s for us all, a Christmas DVD and Chocolate (“Yippee” declared Niffa aka “The Grinch”, when I found this whole new way to extend the day of Christmas)
- BBQ Breakfast on the beach (of which the Grinch does approve)
- Inviting friends from the village to share Christmas dinner with us. This year we will be joined by my lovely mum too, which will make it even more special
- Boxing Day drinks & quiz for friends – Christmas jumpers & impossible questions compulsory
And in fact there ARE Christmas markets and snow – lots of both if you know where to look, and last week saw the first snowfall of the year at Troodos.
The annual Christmas market in our village is one of the largest on the island, at which I have had a stall for the last 3 years, click here for the link to this year’s event – 2016 Traditional Christmas Market. It is organised and run in partnership with the local council by Sarah from Mosaic Island, Larnaca who works tirelessly to make the event a bigger success every year.
This year I shared a stall with my friend Lady K who launched her Cakes & Catering business this month – the mouth watering cupcakes and biscuits you can see on the pic below to the left were all made by her. I managed to only eat one cupcake, half a bag of fudge, a couple of gingerbread stars, and 2 cups of mulled wine – very restrained I thought given the temptations all around!
And last but definitely not least, there are roaring log fires here in Cyprus, I particularly like the huge wood-burner in Caffe NERO, which is my current favourite place to grab a coffee, and curl up on their big sofas with a book, to while a few hours away. In fact, I am off to Caffe Nero now to sample their festive offerings and catch up on some “real” work, but what will I order? A spiced orange latte or salted caramel hot chocolate … decisions decisions.
Love from Nelly x