Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Making it work (decorating for Christmas)

When we moved to the island I got rid of most of our Christmas things (well, I handed the boxes to the girls and asked them to get rid of what they didn't want). We planned to be in The Netherlands for both Sinterklaas and Christmas, so it wouldn't make sense to ship it to CuraƧao, where we would never use it. It also didn't make sense to keep it in storage in Holland when we would be staying in Airbnb's or hotel rooms. Of course, I was sad to let it all go, but knowing I would be there for the holidays was enough.

But life got in the way. Or maybe it would be more accurate to state that money got in the way. The lack thereof to be precise. We just can't afford to rent a place to stay for a month or longer. Also, T. didn't want to be in the cold for so long and I know his health would suffer too much. So I actually did find myself on the island well into the season, skipping Sinterklaas and not feeling festive at all.

Since we would still be away for Christmas and leave two weeks before I wasn't sure about decorating for Christmas in our CuraƧao house. But it also didn't feel right not to. After all, this is our home now.

So I decided to compromise: I bought a tiny, tiny tree and some decoration (the baubles with holes in them are actually battery-operated lights) and brought out the very few Christmas things we brought with us.

This Santa has been with our family for 24 years now, I couldn't part with him...

I also - of course - brought our Christmas books (and I bought a few extra here), that tin (also around for 24 years) and my favorite Christmas album.
That album has special meaning to me because my parents always played it (still do actually) on Christmas Eve. It was the very first Christmas album they bought after they got married, over 50 years ago. Mine is thrifted, theirs actually got lost when they moved to a smaller home, but I found another one for them in a thrift store. It's about the memories, not about the object itself.

I also brought our first Christmas tablecloth. We used to have a lot of them, but this was the very first one, so it had to come with me. We've actually been using it since December 1st.

And then there's this little Christmas towel. Thrifted here, on the island.

Writing this post and going through the pictures I realized that even though it's very minimal, it's also actually a nice mix of displaying cherished memories and the making of new ones. Which is good. These past few weeks have not been easy on me, but it's only the first December since we moved here. I'm sure we will find a way to make it all work and enjoy the season as much as we used to do.


  1. I think you did well being minimalistic and festive!!

  2. It's nice to have treasures with you to remind you of years past. Other than ornaments we got as a wedding present, I don't think I have anything from our first Christmas together.

    1. It is! I got rid of a lot, but really needed to hold on to these things.