Native American with roots in the Dominican Republic, married to a French and currently living in Luxembourg and travel lover, Laura Marcela is quite a globe trotter. Mother to a little Olivia aged one, she is raising her child in a very international environment! We were curious to learn what Christmas in such a family could be like! 

Christmas traditions in an international family - Mothers share
The family on holiday in Provence

With such an international background, what do your family traditions look like?

We are expats and have been living in Luxembourg for a few years only so we are not yet very familiar with the local traditions. However we do have a serie of traditions we carry out throughout the holidays. Most of them have been inherited from my hubby's family or mine for a few generations. We honor them with lots of love every year and intend to pass them down to Olivia.
Three are very dear to our hearts.

Christmas traditions in an international family - Mothers share
Christmas last year


Instead of filling our Christmas tree with random ornaments, we have the tradition of gifting each other a very special ornament which represents something we have lived during the year. For example, one year I received a beautiful giraffe as a wink to our trip to Kenya, another time it was a glass ball with sand from Greece which is where we celebrated our honeymoon.

Honeymoon in Kenya - Giraffe Manor
Trip to Kenya - Giraffe Manor
The idea is to have a tree that is not only pretty to look at but also one that tells a story, not any story but our very own. Through these miniature representations, we can keep track of the big events and look back on our year. We will keep building our collection as the years go pass and will now be able to include Olivia in it!


Another tradition we love comes from my father’s side of the family, from the Dominican Republic. It is called "aguinaldo". During the days before Christmas, to warm up to the festivities ahead, people in our household would go to any other family member’s house and start singing Carols. The hosts would then have us in for a quick sip of hot cocoa, and depart with us to then go to a third house to sing! They would in turn join us and so on and so on! Super fun, best memories while growing up... Let's hope we can do this with Olivia one day! For now we will be singing her English, French and Spanish Christmas songs!

Christmas in the Dominican Republic family traditions
Puerto Plata - Dominican Republic


Another tradition comes from my husband's French family. When Alex was a little boy (and even when he was a bit older) at the end of the Christmas Eve dinner (on the 24th dec) and before he went home his grandmother always use to give him a “brioche de Noël” (something like a little gingerbread man made out of buttery bread) for him to eat the next morning on Christmas day. 

A few years back “mamie” passed away but I have made sure ever since he always wakes up to a freshly baked brioche on Christmas morning. I'll have to teach Olivia the recipe as she grows up!

To make your own French brioche, read the recipe of Chloë, another lovely mother featured on our blog. 

Recipe of the brioche tressée (French braided brioche)

Christmas in an international family - Mothers share

Follow Laura Marcela on Instagram : @Laura.marcela.dacruz

Follow her daughter's adventures on Instagram : @preciousmomentsluxembourg

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