The Twelve Days of Expat Christmas

by Rachel Pieh Jones on December 20, 2016

To be sung to the tune of “The Twelve Days of Christmas,” (be sure to really drag out and dramatize day five). We did a Djibouti version of this for a family talent show a few years ago. To read those lyrics, click here: Twelve Days of Djibouti Christmas.

12-days-of-expat-christmas

On the first day of Christmas the expat life gave to me,

A friend in nearly every country.

On the second day of Christmas the expat life gave to me,

Two weeks of jet lag and a friend in nearly every country.

On the third day of Christmas the expat life gave to me,

Three foreign languages, two weeks of jet lag, and a friend in nearly every country.

On the fourth day of Christmas the expat life gave to me,

Four tropical diseases, three foreign languages, two weeks of jet lag, and a friend in nearly every country.

On the fifth day of Christmas the expat life gave to me,

Five weeks of diarrhea, four tropical diseases, three foreign languages, two weeks of jet lag, and a friend in nearly every country.

On the sixth day of Christmas the expat life gave to me,

Six skillz with squatty potties, five weeks of diarrhea, four tropical diseases, three foreign languages, two weeks of jet lag, and a friend in nearly every country.

On the seventh day of Christmas the expat life gave to me,

Seven different currencies, six skillz with squatty potties, five weeks of diarrhea, four tropical diseases, three foreign languages, two weeks of jet lag, and a friend in nearly every country.

On the eighth day of Christmas the expat life gave to me,

Eight pics for Instagram, seven different currencies, six skillz with squatty potties, five weeks of diarrhea, four tropical diseases, three foreign languages, two weeks of jet lag, and a friend in nearly every country.

On the ninth day of Christmas, the expat life gave to me,

Nine identity crises, eight pics for Instagram, seven different currencies, six skillz with squatty potties, five weeks of diarrhea, four tropical diseases, three foreign languages, two weeks of jet lag, and a friend in nearly every country.

On the tenth day of Christmas the expat life gave to me,

Ten reasons to honk my car horn, nine identity crises, eight pics for Instagram, seven different currencies, six skillz with squatty potties, five weeks of diarrhea, four tropical diseases, three foreign languages, two weeks of jet lag, and a friend in nearly every country.

On the eleventh day of Christmas the expat life gave to me,

Eleven strange hand gestures, ten reasons to honk my car horn, nine identity crises, eight pics for Instagram, seven different currencies, six skillz with squatty potties, five weeks of diarrhea, four tropical diseases, three foreign languages, two weeks of jet lag, and a friend in nearly every country.

On the twelfth day of Christmas the expat life gave to me,

Twelve cultural faux pas, eleven strange hand gestures, ten reasons to honk my car horn, nine identity crises, eight pics for Instagram, seven different currencies, six skillz with squatty potties, five weeks of diarrhea, four tropical diseases, three foreign languages, two weeks of jet lag, and a friend in nearly every country.

Merry Christmas from my expatriate family to yours!

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About Rachel Pieh Jones

Rachel was raised in the Christian west and said, ‘you betcha’ and ate Jell-O salads, she now lives in the Muslim east, says ‘insha Allah,’ and eats samosas. Her work has appeared in the New York Times, Family Fun, Running Times, and more, and she blogs for Brain Child and Babble.
  • Leisha

    Abso-fricking-lutely!

  • Kathy Vaughan

    Love it! An ex-pat Christmas is different, but still good, because Jesus is the same, everywhere and always.

  • Marilyn Gardner

    Perfect!

  • Kristi Lonheim

    How fun! Yes, our lives are unlike so many other’s.

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