This holiday season saw my first Christmas and New Years away from home and family because of work commitments here in Switzerland.
The run up to Christmas was not very nice and it felt pretty rubbish being away from family at what is my most favourite time of year! However, living with a lovely Swiss family really helped make up for that and having a family unit around me was good as it always kept me busy and feeling a part of everything.
Christmas starts here on the 24th, that is the biggest day for the Swiss so it was a bit weird doing it all a day early! however, always good to try something new and experience a different culture!
We had almost 20 relatives from the swiss family in the house so there was a real buzz about it all. The festivities started with the annual trip to the cinema together to see a family christmas film, this year was Arthur, of course in German so while i didn’t understand everything that was going on i got enough to get the gist of it and it was a nice film over all. Then it was back to the house to relax for a bit while the evening’s mega buffet was being prepared.
In the early evening we all came together after our siesta’s and sang some christmas carols together with piano and violin which was lovely, lots of classics, silent night, a german song called oh taunenbaum which is lovely, and everyones favourite – jingle bells amongst others!
From the living room where we were all singing, we all entered into the dining room and all the candles on the christmas tree had been lit, quite an impressive sight! Out came glasses of champagne for everyone and everyone was hugging each other wishing one another a merry christmas.
Next followed the opening of the presents, the kids and ‘young adults’ first and then the older adults. This was very strange opening all my presents a day early when i’ve been used to running down the stairs on the morning of the 25th to rip open my presents, but i just embraced it all and got on with it! I did very well this year, got lots of nice clothes, Scottish food and various bits and bobs, i was a very happy man.
After opening the presents, totally starving by now, we started the buffet which had the biggest selection of salads, pastries, cheeses & meats etc that i have ever seen! it was certainly quite a feast. The evening came to a close with a few board games, happily i won one of them!
The 25th was a more quite affair, we all had a good sleep and started with our Christmas Lunch, it seems the lunch is the big one here not dinner so another strange thing, but good to experience the different way people live. We had duck, guinea fowl, lots of veg & salad’s and a german speciality, Spetzli, kind of like a cheesy pasta. sadly no roast tatties, mince pies or christmas pud in sight but when in Switzerland huh!
Again more board games and movies in the evening and I enjoyed watching Darcey Bussel’s Christmas dance show and Matthew Bourne’s Dance show as well, funny to see so many of my friends in that and knowing i would be dancing with one of them on the stage the next day!
Boxing day came, and it was over to the Opera House for a 1.30 start! we had class and a few rehearsals and then an earlier show than usual, 6pm, which went very well. I was dancing in the role of a mechanic and one of the fairies in the production of A Winternights Dream, there where lots of kids and a good reception from the audience which made up for dancing on boxing day!
While i was sad not to be with my family, i knew that it was only a matter of time that in this line of work it would happen and i couldn’t of been better placed to have that first experience.
I wonder where in the world i will be at christmas time next year!