I went to the Post Office the other day to mail some Christmas gifts to the UK. After waiting in line for a long time, which is normal for most Post Offices around the world, I handed over my packages along with the customs forms that I'd filled out in advance to save time. Imagine my surprise when I was told that even though it was indeed a Post Office, they couldn't actually mail my international packages. I thought the man was taking the piss, so I politely laughed, but then I realized he was being serious. Apparently his Post Office is too small to do international packages! C'mon America, even the smallest Post Office in the Highlands of Scotland can mail things overseas without blinking an eyelid. Anyway, after wasting a good half hour, I then had to get back in my car to drive across town to the big Post Office that could handle my mail. "Have a nice day" the man told me as I childishly stomped out of his too small Post Office!
I love, love, love the weeks leading up to Christmas, and because we have 3 smallish kiddos, it's an excuse to go all out. Yep, the 7 trees are up, the Christmas music playlists are on the computers and the Christmas CDs are in the van despite the protests of my poor husband. One of our traditions each year is to drive to the Chick Fil A drive thru, order peppermint chocolate shakes for us (so tasty but no doubt full of horrible chemicals) and then pay for the order of the car behind us. We did it at the weekend. The kids loved scoping out the people in the car as we drove away, watching them smile when they were told their food was already paid for. A small gesture, yes, but also a part of the spirit of the Christmas season for our family.
Speaking of Christmas, it's just over 2 weeks away! My parents arrive soon and we're all very excited to see them. We are so thankful that they are happy to travel halfway across the world to see us. No matter where we've lived, even in South Korea, they always visit at least twice a year, spending at least 3 weeks each trip, which really is quality time - making memories and just hanging out doing everyday things. My parents have an amazing relationship with the kids. It's always so hard for us all when they leave, but as soon as they get home, they are planning their next trip. The kids are always getting wee parcels in the mail from them and they talk on the phone regularly which is awesome. While I love our life and all the traveling that we've done, the hardest part is definitely being away from my family.
So on that sentimental note, I'm off to begin a busy week. It's time to bake some Christmas crack, make some Christmas cocktails, and no doubt gain a few pounds. I'll also be finding time to watch my favorite Christmas movie, Love Actually. I know, it's over the top cheesy, but it reminds me of all things British and I LOVE it. The tears start flowing as soon as Hugh Grant begins talking about the people at the airport, and it's funny seeing Rick from The Walking Dead all fresh faced and beardless. I'm sure there's a suitable medication out there to help me with that crying...!