First Christmas Outside My Country

          Christmas is time of joy for the family and a time to share with friends. Where I come from, Christmas is the same but the sharing part is very pronounce especially if your husband is the boss of the establishment. In that case, the wife is expected to entertain a lot of guests during the period. They would be those working in the establishment (mostly) and friends.
          The first assignment of my husband after we got married (less than a year) was to a country in Europe. We arrived there at the end of September and lived in a service apartment for two months. By the end of November, we moved into our official quarter and before I knew it Christmas was at the door. The first thing that crossed my mind was the fact that I would have people from the Embassy come around on Christmas day. So I embarked on stocking the house with the essential food items and on Christmas morning I cooked like crazy.
          I got the house all cleaned up and was ready to entertain the guests. To my surprise, nobody came and for the next two weeks my family and I were eating the food prepared. I was so upset about the situation and felt that the workers did not like me or my husband was not being accepted by them. The first opportunity that came my way, I voiced my opinion. Again I was surprised by their responses and felt so stupid.
          The staff had spent some years already in that country and had cultivated the way of reasoning, which is to give people their privacy. They were actually waiting for my invitation to come over. Back home, nobody waits for an invitation to visit family or boss on Christmas day, it is expected that they should know that people would come. So here I was expecting them to come over and on the other hand, they were following the custom of their current country of residence. As the saying goes, “when in Rome, do like the Romans”.
          Needless to say what kind of Christmas I had that year.


Published on July 30, 2008 at 10:01 pm  Comments (6)  

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6 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Hoo….
    That must have ben painfull, but those people had no tenssion to hurt is just that:
    Diffrent culture could easly bring confusing and ambarrassment. while you were waiting for them to come, they were waiting for your invitation.

    I had a situation before when i was new in the Embassy , i was waiting for an invitation card by the person’s party, while the persom was sure that i will come.

  2. I would have felt the same way if I was in your shoes, but I like the way you handled the situation by making your opinion heard, I want to believe you and your family all had a very wonderful FOOD,FOOD and MORE FOOD CHRISTMAS.

  3. Thanks Hagit. I see you could relate to this situation. I hope you also cleared the air in your own case.

    Well yes Kenneth, I made my family have a wonderful food, food and more food Christmas. What do you think?
    It’s not easy for a woman to spend so much time cooking only to have nobody eat it. Where I come from, the husbands try not to be in that situation, as they would not hear the last of that day, for many years to come.

  4. there is always a first time to everything.

  5. Christmas is always a very good time to entertain guests,sorry your’s went that way.

  6. I once had a similar experience to yours,just like you also i handled it well

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