Mince pies – our tradition, always a reminder
I have now been living my life and raising my family in England for 18 years; that’s nearly half my life. There are far too many mixed feelings that I could talk about, why I have them and why they will probably never fade. This is one reason I started this blog. A place where expat parents like me could share their stories, not feel alone anymore, to find support, and a place where stories truly resonate. Whether large or small, all issues surrounding raising children in a country different to the one you grew up in, are valid and contribute significantly to our own experiences – good and bad.
One of the funny stories in my book Bringing Up Brits is about mince pies. We’d just moved to England from Tokyo, I was studying for my Masters and Nick was unemployed so money was pretty much non existent. I came back from the grocery store with 6 boxes of mince pies. “They were only 30p!” I exclaimed excitedly, impressed by my ability to find a bargain and provide sustenance on a budget. My husband did not share my enthusiasm. “Mince pies are eaten at Christmas. No one buys them when it’s not Christmas.” Oh dear. Fortunately, it’s become an endearing tradition for me to come home with a box of marked-down mince pies post Christmas. Although they are not as cheap nowadays, even marked-down, and I’ve of course since discovered they are not meat pies, but sweet Christmas melt-in-your-mouth delicacies. And luckily, our children find that story amusing and always a reminder of where their mother comes from and that she didn’t grow up with mince pies like they have. I think back now and wonder how I could have been so stupid! But what you don’t know, you don’t know until you do know. And that’s the truth of it!
Meghan Peterson Fenn is the author of Bringing Up Brits, co-author of Inspiring Global Entrepreneurs, co-founder and Director of Design and Web at Shake It Up Creative. And, she is an award winning expat blogger and mother of three.