Visiting the Christkindlmarket in Chicago IL, has been on my bucket list for a while now and finally I managed to tick it off when I visited for my 30th birthday! For those that haven’t heard of the Christkindlmarket, it’s a German Christmas Market, similar to the Christmas markets that are popular in Europe! It runs from the middle of November until Christmas Eve and is held in Daley Plaza in the Loop District of Downtown Chicago! 2018 was Christkindlmarket Chicago’s 23rd year!
For those that may remember, last year I wrote a 30 before 30 bucket list, 30 things that I had to do in my 29th year. One thing that I had wanted to complete was an Operation Christmas Child shoebox gift. Years and years ago when I was a kid, me, my mum and sister had put one together and when I discovered that they also do it in the USA too, I thought it’d be nice to do something for someone else!
As an expat, there’s not many typical American ‘holidays’ that I celebrate, we don’t have Thanksgiving or the 4th of July in England and Halloween is no where near on the same scale that it is here! HOWEVER, I have spent my whole life celebrating Christmas! So here are some Dubuque Christmas events in East Iowa that you should check out this year!
One thing I’ve noticed about living in Iowa is just how PROUD people are to come from this State! So I have trawled through Amazon punching in lots of different keywords to bring you my favourite finds for the Ultimate Iowa Gift Guide! If you’re looking for a last minute Iowa themed gift, I think I’ve got you covered 🙂
As an Expat, obviously one of the main ways that I communicate with the people back home is via the internet…Facebook, FaceTime, Email. But then some of my family members, such as Grandparents, aren’t as up to date with technology! So for me, I’m a huge fan of sending physical mail!
I first started getting excited about Christmas this year, when I visited ‘Reflections in the Park’, it was like Christmas being thrown up on me and I thought it was AWESOME. ‘Reflections in the Park’ is a drive thru Christmas Light display held in Louis Murphy Park in Dubuque, Iowa to raise money for Hillcrest Family Services.
As a British Expat, celebrating Christmas overseas just doesn’t feel like Christmas anymore. I’ve spent every year doing the same British traditions and now I’m living somewhere that hasn’t different traditions, it’s not the Christmas I know and love! The best I can do, now I live in America, is to bring a few of my UK traditions to my US life!
When I was living in England I found myself decorating my room with all my overseas travels. Now I’m living in America, I can’t help but feel comfort in having little bits of ‘home’ surrounding me! I also love receiving care packages from home. Over the past couple of years, I’ve got used to coming up with gift ideas that are small/lightweight which are easy to fly with or send in the mail. Here are some ideas of gifts to send abroad with a focus on gifts for British expats!