We are about to spend our 5th Christmas in Cyprus, and I love it! Many people go back to the UK for Christmas or would like to, and while I do admit it is different here I wouldn't want to be anywhere else. (Of course, it is different having my parents here, I'm sure if I had a big family in England I'd be hopping on a plane if I could!)
I can't really remember the first sign of Christmas in the UK, only that it was probably too early. I LOVE Christmas, but I love it in December (or maybe towards the end of November, but ssshhh don't tell anyone). Having worked in retail for many years in the UK it does dilute the excitement a little.
Aaron and I have slightly different views on Christmas - he is adamant that Christmas is a DAY, whereas I argue that Christmas is a 'season' - well it says so in the song! I actually prefer the build up to Christmas now more so than the day itself - decorating, going to Christmas events, seeing Santa, writing letters, and general excitement.
I was excited to see my first Christmas tree of this year in a shop last week and that was when it occurred to me how much later it all happens here in Cyprus. You start to hear of the Christmas events (mainly the 'expat' ones) fairly early, and the pubs and restaurants start advertising their Christmas lunches but you don't get the onslaught of advertising and it rammed it your face everywhere you go.
Yesterday we managed to find 2 advent calenders, which is surprisingly difficult (unless you want to spend €7 on a huge one from Lidl's) This year I think will be the first year that Leo would remember about the chocolate calendar from the year before, so that's' good!
I swore to myself that I'd not start 'Christmas' before December - no music, no nothing until the 1st when I get our 'Advent box' out with the Christmas DVDs, books and CD. Aaron of course thinks that is far too early, and still argues that the decorations should go up on Christmas Eve!
Every year we have been here we have been to the switching on of the Agia Napa lights, last year as we walked into the square I turned to my Dad and said 'Ohh now it's Christmas' THAT was the moment it felt like the festive season had begun. This year the lights switch on is the 29th but this weekend is Leo's school's Christmas fete, 2 weeks earlier than last year and so I'm sure that's when it will all begin! He is so excited about it, and the fact that Santa will be there, and he can also have a ride on the Red Bus.
Of course rules are meant to be broken though, so as I write this post I am listening to some fab festive tunes! I might have sworn not to get the CD out but I said nothing about youtube!