Here There and Everywhere

Expat wanderer

Christmas Ornaments from Here, There and Everywhere

Ten years ago when we put almost our entire life into storage, we had no idea we would be gone this long. We had no idea we would live in four different countries, and that we wouldn’t see our things again for lo, these many years.

Our first contract, I was allowed one thousand pounds. Do you know how little one thousand pounds is? Think clothing, think basic necessities – 1000 lbs. just isn’t very much.

I packed just a very few Christmas ornaments, figuring I could pick things up along the way. Fortunately for us, the next country, after Saudi Arabia, was Germany, the land of Christmas ornaments. Our tree is eclectic. It’s not necessarily a tree with appeal to anyone else; it is a very personal Christmas tree, with lots of memories and stories. Lucky for you, I won’t bore you will all of them. ;-)

We are sentimental. When we can, we decorate the tree together, and we remember with each ornament. . . When he was young, our son would get so impatient with us, and our remembering!

Here is the very first ornament our son ever made in school – it is a dreamcatcher; his teacher was very into the American Southwest and American Indian traditions:


We met and married in Heidelberg, so we always have that ornament with us:


My ties to the Pacific Northwest:



AdventureMan’s love of Africa and the Middle East:


Religious symbols:






Beautiful German antique silver walnuts and pinecones:



And memories of places we’ll remember . . .





Whew! I’m tired, too! Think I will go join the Qatteri Cat in a catnap!

December 20, 2008 - Posted by | Arts & Handicrafts, Christmas, Cultural, ExPat Life, Family Issues, Germany, Kuwait, Living Conditions, Marriage, Qatteri Cat, Saudi Arabia


  1. I am amazed that you moved overseas with 1,000 pounds. I brought an entire container, although I did think my move would be permanent (and I’ve been here 17 years now). I brought everything I had.

    Expat 21
    “Expat Abroad” in the Middle East

    Comment by expat21 | December 20, 2008 | Reply

  2. expat21 – We were just glad to have an accompanied position – it was Saudi Arabia, our house and most household goods were provided. I have since learned that investing in nice dishes and glassware is worth it, and have picked up another couple thousand pounds, but I also know I will walk away from most of what I have accumulated here . . .

    17 years! You’ve been here 17 years! Oh what adventures you must have had. 17 years ago, I had a weight allowance of around 18,000 lbs, I think – military people carried their whole lives around with them. . .

    Comment by intlxpatr | December 21, 2008 | Reply

  3. Wow ! thats a whole lot of ornaments and each has their own story. Mine just says “Made in China” :P
    Do you have a picture of the whole tree ?

    Comment by Mathai | December 21, 2008 | Reply

  4. oops nevermind, I just saw your tree in the post below. Sometimes I’m just too lazy to scroll down.. ;)

    Comment by Mathai | December 21, 2008 | Reply

  5. LLOOLLL, Mathai. Check out my Santa’s Little Helper.

    Comment by intlxpatr | December 21, 2008 | Reply

  6. 18,000 pounds?!! I clearly did not pick the right employer when moving to the Middle East. I could bring 200KD worth of “extra” luggage. :( Since then, I’ve wrestled continuously with whether or not to buy things here that I want to keep. So far, I haven’t purchased anything I think I’ll want to ship home…and truthfully, it still feels like we’re living in someone else’s house because nothing is “ours.”

    Comment by DaisyMae | December 22, 2008 | Reply

  7. The 18,000 lbs was courtesy of my Uncle Sam; military people could ship their entire households with them, and the weight allowance grew as you were promoted. Alas! Those days are over!

    DaisyMae, there are some wonderful textiles that are reasonably priced, can be put on walls, and then fold very small to be shipped back home as souvenirs of your time in Kuwait. Camel bags, suzaini, carpets . . . they all make your overseas home more your own. It’s all so individual. For me, I really needed dishes of my own, and several times a year there are the most wonderful sales at places like The One, where you can find dishes or decorations at amazing low prices. Sometimes it’s worth a little investment (IMHO) to make your living arrangements personal. The really special things – I found some very old lamps in one of the antique shops – I take home with me when I go, and put in storage, so I will have something wonderful and lasting from this area.

    Comment by intlxpatr | December 22, 2008 | Reply

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