Traveling the world for an extensive time was always a childhood dream. Funnily enough there was always a concern, even back those days when I was a kid and was just dreaming out loud: “but what about Christmas????” I would say!
Now, Christmas is a very important time of the year for me and my family. Coming from a huge family full of traditions, you can imagine that since I was a little girl, I have the best memories from the Christmas season.
Remember so well the days we would all seat around the huge kids table at my grandparents, while the adults had their even bigger table. My grandad was still alive and he really was the patriarch of the family telling us when we could start eating and to not to make any noise when the pope or the primer minister would be on telly giving their annual speeches. He was the most wonderful men I have met.
And after that sumptuous meal on the Christmas eve, we (me, my sister/s and all my cousins really) would beg our parents to take us back home so we could get our presents (when I still believed in Santa, and even when I knew the true.. as the presents were still there…).
And nothing better than spending the Christmas day in pjs next to the fireplace watching “Home Alone” and drinking hot chocolate + playing with my new Christmas toys. That kinda basically happened every Christmas of my life… things might have changed and instead of grandparents home we moved to aunties or uncles restaurants as the family now was too large to seat in only 2 tables at grandparents kitchen … but the rest would be pretty much the same…. a huge and fun family with over 50 people having fun, eating, singing and just the usual, being loud. This is the wonderful Miranda family. And that was normal Christmas for me.
Even though I lived in London for 7 years, never even crossed my mind to miss a Christmas with my family so I would always fly home and spend that special holiday with my loved ones, my big family.
So yeah, missing this would be probably the biggest issue in my trip and has always been on the back of my mind.
And so it was, decided to start the trip and I knew 2 things for sure: I would have my first hot Christmas and I wouldn’t be sharing it with my family this time.
However, the story is not that sad. Of course it was difficult for me not being home with all my family, listening to the Christmas carols a month in advance, feel the cold and the Xtmas smell, the food of course, plus all the loud and crazy family members running around.
Fortunately I have the most wonderful friends all around the world, and my amazing Danish good friend Emma (the other half of “The Emmas”) has her dad living in Malaysia, and her family invited me to spend Christmas with them in beautiful Borneo – Malaysia.
I can’t even express how lucky I was and how much fun I had this Christmas.
It was my first hot Christmas and it made such a difference… plus why don’t Asians play Christmas Carols like us all the time? ahahah And where was the decorations in every single store, shop, house, street, tree? Didn’t feel the Xtmas vibe at all until I got inside the Knudsens pad on Christmas eve, and then, then everything changed.
It was Christmas.
There was the beautiful Christmas tree, there was gorgeous children running around (Christmas without children is not Christmas for me), there was the smell of Christmas food, there was laughs and smiles all around, there was Christmas traditions, and Christmas carols, there was presents and there was Christmas vibe.
It was the most international Christmas I ever had, because even tho I was in Malaysia, I had a Danish Christmas, with Danish traditions, Danish food and beautiful Danish and Malay people.
On top of that my mum (+ sisters & dad) decided to make me a surprise and behind my back she sent my friend Emma a very special present … so you should have seen my face when first I had so many presents under the Knudsen family’s tree (thank you so much you all again for the lovely presents * * *), but right on the spot, the first one I open was a big letter, and had my mum handwriting on it… I almost chocked as I wasn’t expecting it at all. And then yeah, it hit me, it was Christmas and I wasn’t home. I couldn’t stop crying specially when I saw the present. She sent me a gorgeous bracelet with my name on it inside a cloud (Footprints in the Clouds hey) but funnily enough, just before I left Portugal I was worried as I didn’t knew my blood type, so was stressing about having an accident and not having idea what kind of blood I needed, so I end up doing my test. Got the result on my bracelet, 0+. Now if something happens to me, hopefully someone checks my bracelet, like an enigma, it is all there 😉
Obviously, thanks to the new technologies, and the time difference, once I left my international Christmas at the Knudsens, I got right on time to have a Portuguese Christmas over Skype with my family. But even better as we could connect with the rest of the family via FaceTime and then we could be all connected. Isn’t that wonderful?
But Christmas wasn’t over yet, and spent the Christmas day watching a toddler having a blast on the swimming pool while looking at the ocean but having friends to talk to while sharing ice creams and laughs. On top of that, we than had a Christmas lunch with another bunch of lovely people at the Knudsen’s with the loveliest food (yesss, including veggie food) and drinks. Oh and there was even time to connect with Rome and be in touch with good friend Rennie x
Even tho was a very different Christmas indeed, and I didn’t spent it at the fireplace drinking hot chocolate with my sisters, I did watch Home Alone on my iPad and had the best different Christmas I could ever dream.
So I want to dedicate this post to some very special people. 3 groups of people in fact.
1st. My family. Yes, thank you so much for everything. Even tho we weren’t together physically this Christmas, it almost felt like we were. I love you all so much!
2nd. The wonderful Knudsen family and their friends too. I have no words to thank you enough for “adopting” me this Christmas and for making me feel home. You were all just brilliant, but a special thanks to Emma, my dear friend, the other half of “The Emmas” and to your gorgeous baby girl that made my Christmas real. I love you Ems x
3rd. To Precilla and her beautiful family. Sweetie, you made me feel completely at home. So glad I decided to stay at your super confy pad instead of some fancy and impersonal hotel. And thanks for all the presents, you are the sweetest. Hope to see you very soon xxx
Hope you all had an amazing Christmas this year.