Only one knife/spoon/fork/plate/bowl per person. No microwave. One bath towel each. Our nomadic lifestyle is a study in paring down to the essentials.
So how does byerswithoutborders celebrate Christmas without an attic full of decorations? Washi tape, fortune cookies, and our passports of course!
Jen and I began our life together in a drafty apartment above Mungovan and Sons funeral home. Back then piles of textbooks outnumbered decorations and presents. Eating cheap chinese food one night, staring up at our bare christmas tree, we got sick of the sad thing, and threw our fortune cookies at it. They caught in its branches, the cellophane wrappers twinkled just enough, and after a trip to Gordon food supply, the fortune cookie tree was born.
Our new spartan life is reminiscent of those early years. And so upon our return from seeing the lights of NYC we decided to add to our holiday spirit by resurrecting the fortune cookie tree! With homemade ornaments and limbs heavy with eastern wisdom, the kids are quite proud of the tree. Getting the odd cookie off for a snack certainly helps.
Another tradition we decided to resurrect this year was the all night drive to grandma’s. Jen picked me up at the hospital Wednesday, the van packed with presents, egg salad sandwiches and coffee. Her mantra all week long, “don’t forget the passports”. We drove up through northern Maine and across the border, a right-hand turn at Fredericton put us through a stretch of woods so lonely we were the sole motorists for hours. Out of snowy New Brunswick and into Nova Scotia, we arrived a short 14 hours after our departure.
The kids have enjoyed sing-a-longs with their papa, laughed at ducks landing on the ice, and stuffed their faces with everything from lobster rolls to lemon tarts. Nobody seems to miss the attic or any of it’s boxes of decorations. Maybe having a season without the stuff won’t be as traumatic to them as I feared. Maybe they won’t look back at this as a time of privation, but remember it as a time of traditions, family, and love.
At least that’s my Christmas wish.
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