I have a new guest blogger this week, the lovely Kerry Jukes who only this summer moved from her home in Scotland to Adapazari in the Sakarya Province in North Western Turkey with her husband. She writes a blog called Earth Laughs in Flowers about her move here and what it is like adjusting to life in Turkey. It’s an interesting blog in that it is very honest and it is Kerry’s way of writing her way through this huge change in her life.
Adapazari is not the tourist Turkey familiar to westerners, far from the resorts that follow the Mediterranean coast it is a city on the old Silk Road and most of the population are Black Sea Turkish. Moving to Adapazari is moving out of your comfort zone and you need to work hard to acclimatise without a big expat population to support you.
Here Kerry writes about preparing for her first Christmas in Turkey.
My First Christmas – In Turkey
I Love Christmas time, I love the pent up excitement on the run up to the big day. Everyone focused on the same goal to have a wonderful Christmas. The shops are packed with everyone trying to get the perfect present for their loved ones. The bars and restaurants are full of happy people celebrating with friends and family.
The Radio is playing Christmas songs old and new and we wait to see who will be number 1. The adverts on the telly all have a Christmas theme and my favourite Christmas movies are on.
Everywhere you look there are Christmas trees shining through windows and houses are decorated for Christmas. The postman is busy delivering cards and the children await the arrival of Santa Claus.
Christmas this year for me is just a little bit different. In the summer I moved to live in Turkey with my Turkish Husband who has never celebrated Christmas before.
Christmas is not widely celebrated in Turkey and I know that our house will be the only one in our apartment block to celebrate Christmas never mind in our street and possibly even in the whole city.
Normally about a week before Christmas my Mum eventually relents and finally allows me to decorate the house, which really signals the start of the season for me. The Christmas cake is all ready and iced for the day and Mum and I go food shopping to see what goodies we can get to enjoy through the two week holiday.
And once the first Christmas Pies have come out the oven and the smell drifts through the house I really know its Christmas and I can curl up on the sofa with a hot mince pie and watch a favourite Christmas movie.
But as I sit here writing this post I have the windows wide open with the Sun blasting in, a far cry from the cold December days in Scotland. When I turn the TV on there are no Christmas adverts or movies to watch, in fact it feels almost like summer.
There are no excited children around talking about what Santa will bring and there is no one rushing around to buy presents and food for the day. It all feels a little odd, not quite like Christmas yet!
What I do like is you can avoid the hype and the commercialism of Christmas, you still see decorations up in the city centres which are there to celebrate the New Year, you can still buy all that you need to make a lovely Christmas dinner as long as you are prepared to make everything from scratch and of course the all important decorations can be found along with the Tree!
I have bought the family presents and sent them home and through the wonder of the internet I have posted my Christmas cards. I have Christmas songs playing and I am keeping my fingers crossed for a White Christmas.
I am not sure how the day will work out I have decided to make a few new traditions for our new family, the dinner will have a mix of traditional Christmas fare and Turkish foods, instead of decorating the house early I will wait till Christmas eve.
I will make some Christmas pies and hot mulled wine to curl up on the sofa with and watch some classic Christmas Movies like A Christmas Carol or Miracle on 34th Street. Then just before bed I will put the presents under the tree ready for the morning.
Family is Christmas for me and I will miss not having my Parents and pets with us to share our day, we will of course phone and use the internet to share some of the day together but it won’t be the same as being together.
I know the day will not be the same and I am sure I will have a little sadness in my heart for those that are not with us and for the little things from home that make this time of year special. That the day will be just another normal day here in Turkey and the families around us won’t even know that it is a special day.
But I know that we will start some of our own new traditions for our family and that we will enjoy Christmas in our own way.
İyi Noeller, Merry Christmas
You can follow Kerry’s ongoing journey on her blog at Earth Laughs in Flowers