J Simens.com

When your Christmas tree is NOT a tree!


My family has been lucky enough to spend Christmas in a variety of
locations due to our jobs working abroad. We often make Christmas a
tri-generational event so some traditions are important to keep. The one
tradition we have is the kids two stockings have been placed under our
Christmas tree each Christmas eve hoping Santa arrives.  Then we have a special Christmas morning brunch!

The stockings have a special meaning to our family since they were hand
cross sticked by their Aunt and then another Aunt actually made them into
Christmas stockings. But what is more important is the place where the kids
hang the stockings – it must be under their Christmas tree. This is hard to
do if you are not spending Christmas in your own home.

Now that my kids are adults, Santa has arrived in Australia, Borneo, The
Cook Islands, Canary Islands, Egypt, India, Indonesia, Nigeria, Thailand as
well as multiple locations in the USA. The one Christmas tree that makes us
all still smile is the one my son made in the Cook Island. He had been in
the hotel lobby watching the hotel staff get all of their decorations set
up for the Holiday event. They showed him how to weave flowers into strips of leaves and drape them over the large lobby tree.

He then went out into their gardens and collected enough natural supplies to decorate the Christmas tree in our hotel room.

There was only one small problem. We didn’t have a tree! He took every
pillow and cushion in our hotel suite and fashioned a pyramid in the corner
of the room. He draped all the leaves and flowers over this pile of
cushions and proudly announced that it was our “Christmas tree”! He then
went and got the stockings and put them at the base of the cushion tree.

We all remember how it was the rest of that day and night waiting for
Santa! We had to watch TV as we were sitting on a brick hard couch without cushions. We tried to sit on the balcony to watch the ocean but found the rattan chairs without any cushions unbearable. The hardest thing was trying to get his older sister to go to bed without a pillow. My husband and I were able to pull our pillows off the “tree” for our own bed after the kids went to sleep and before Santa arrived.

Then a later Christmas the same concern happened.  We were in Roatan without a tree.

It is amazing what a child with an imagination can come up with – we  had a red solo cup tree made out of the wine rack.  This was much more confortable than living without pillows.

I hope all global families are making Christmas memories around the world.

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