Sunday, December 29, 2019

A Greek-Style Village Christmas

Living differently, as I refer to this expat life of ours in Greece's Peloponnese, means that holidays are also celebrated differently.

Christmas Morning downtown Agios Nikolaos

Christmas in our village of Agios Nikolaos (Saint Nicholas) is a laid-back sort of day, a delightful contrast to the rather fast-paced, often-stressed way we approached it in our Seattle suburb life.

Decorations here are minimal and retail outlets are few which means a dash for a last minute gift would take us to a hardware store, a meat store, a nursery, two gas stations or two grocery stores.

Decorations at Elli's - a favorite village restaurant of ours

There's a single light display draped over the main street into town. It spells out, Kronia Polla, meaning 'Good Year' (an all-occasion phrase in Greece, as it seems as it is used as greeting at every holiday but only displayed at Christmas).

Kala Christougenna, (Merry Christmas) has so many letters it would be too long to drape over that main street of ours; it is a narrow one that winds between the storefronts and harbor.

We do get a double-day holiday here because Dec. 26th, Boxing Day to our many British ex pat friends, is the Synaxis of the Mother of God in the Greek Orthodox religion.

Nine nations represented at our Christmas lunch

Both days were picture perfect. . .blue sky, sunshine, and just cool enough to need a jacket or sweater. 

Christmas cooking was limited to a dish to contribute to a buffet Christmas lunch at a neighbor's home. The group was comprised of expats all of whom live within a couple kilometers of us. We were the only Americans and our small gathering represented nine countries. And what a feast! It might be the best Christmas dinner we've ever eaten!

Boxing Day toast in Hades - Agios Nikolaos
Boxing Day was toasted with a group of our British expat friends at our local taverna, Hades.

Fig tree and ladder - village garden Christmas morning

We hope that whatever holiday you might be celebrating, if any at all, you are enjoying this week as much as we are in our Greek village.

Thank you so much for the time you've spent reading TravelnWrite this year and for recommending it to others.  Learning that you've sharing our tales is one of the greatest compliments we could have. (And thanks for your continued patience as we try to correct our defective email distribution service).  My one New Year's resolution is to rehab the blog with a distribution system that works! 

Happy New Year to you from The Scout and The Scribe! We'll be back in 2020 with more tales of travel and expat life for you ~ 

Linking soon with:

Through My Lens
Our World Tuesday
Wordless Wednesday


  1. Sounds like you had a lovely holiday. The more relaxed tone would be especially welcome! And what fun to have friends and neighbors from so many different countries. Did you get a good variety of traditional Christmas dishes?

    1. Oh my! Did we get some great food! Loved it all and ate far too much but couldn't resist the new flavors and tastes! Happy New Year!

  2. It is amazing how enjoyable holidays can be when allowed to simply enjoy them and not get so worked up over them! And yes, the dishes were absolutely delicious, amazing and so different from our traditional ones in the States!

  3. Thanks for sharing this, Jackie. Special holidays seem to put a particular magnifying effect on the differences between one's lifelong traditions and what's the norm in another part of the world. Your Christmas gathering sounds wonderful.
    One little question: On Boxing Day, you went to a taverna named "Hades." Does that word mean something different there from what it does in the U.S.? ;-)

    1. Christmas was warm and wonderful but I guess that is one of the benefits of trying out this new lifestyle of 'living differently'! Happy New Year to you two! And Hades is our answer to Cheers; a heavenly taverna in the village with a name that means just what you think it means.

  4. I love the look of Agios Nikolaos. What lovely weather you had for Christmas. I didn't realise there were so many expats in the region.

    1. Our expat numbers keep growing all the time! Predominantly British and Northern European but even we Yanks now number over two dozen and growing!

  5. I feel as though I've celebrated the holiday season right along with you in your little village. I love the feeling of stepping back a bit in time when things seem simpler and interactions with your neighbors are friendly and even delightful! How fortunate we are to experience this even though our homes are far apart!

    1. I do think we need to get serious about a rendezvous this year! I think you'd love our village and I would love introducing you to it!! Happy New Year~

  6. It looks like you had a lovely Christmas shared with many nationalities. I love dipping into your Greek life. May blessings come your way in 2020, and thank you for visiting me on my blog this week. It was great to hear from you.

  7. One of these days I hope your travels bring you our way. I think you could work some photo magic here!! Hang in there with the fires, and do keep us all posted on how you all are doing! xxx Jackie


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