Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Christmas - a little different this year

Somehow it's December. Christmas is coming. And as much as I love love LOVE Christmas, this year I've been feeling a teeny bit melancholy about it all.

Christmas is a time of year that holds really special memories for me. I am the youngest of four daughters, with big age gaps between myself and my sisters so Christmas is a time of year where I actually remember everyone being together when I was growing up. As much as I love the food, the decorations, the carols and all the Christmas-y frills, for me Christmas means the celebrating the birth of Christ + family time.

This isn't our first Christmas overseas, in fact it's our fourth. The first year we were away it was just the two of us - inexperienced travelers on an adventure, living in the south of France. We booked ourselves an amazing week away in Switzerland - we skied, drank hot wine, ice skated in the mountains... I was so distracted with the novelty of a glamorous white Christmas that I didn't have time to think about what I was missing out on back in Australia.

Our second Christmas away was a few years later and one full of emotions. We had just found out we were expecting, days later had friends from Australia arrive and all six of us then took off to the French alps for a week where we hired a chalet on the side of a ski run. Again - another idyllic white Christmas, this time with our best friends; our surrogate family. It was also the Christmas with that memorable Christmas day video played via Skype to my family - announcing the happy news :-)

Our third Christmas away - well, it didn't reallyyyy end up being away. Mitch and I took then teeny tiny Oliver back to Australia for Christmas to surprise our parents. It truly was the ultimate Christmas surprise!

2012 is the first year where it feels like we are on our own. Given that Christmas is usually family time, I'm finding this thought a difficult one. I really am feeling sad that we are so far away. I think it's part of the reason why we still haven't made any concrete plans for Christmas yet, I really have been avoiding thinking about it.

After feeling a bit down in the dumps and wondering what this year has in store, I came to realise that although I don't have my big family with me, I do have my family. My husband and son. I want Oliver to get those same warm and fuzzy feelings about Christmas that I do. I want him to get excited about it - not just the idea of presents, but excited about celebrating Jesus and spending time with family. I want him to love all the little traditions that I grew up with - eating multitudes of apricot balls & white Christmas in the lead up to the holiday, amazing decorating (seriously - I have a very creative Mum & sisters!), dishes that only come out once a year (note to self: must ask Mum for aberdeen sausage recipe!) and the race to the fridge that happens on boxing day morning to score the best leftovers.

And as much as I would love to be celebrating Christmas in stinking hot temperatures, eating seafood and swimming in the pool, I realised that I can still help make all the happy memories for my son even though we aren't with family. I spent a lot of time mulling it over and realised that it's time to just suck it up. Move on from feeling downcast and start creating our own family traditions. If I could, I'd fly back to the Gympie house every single Christmas but it's just not practical given we live on the other side of the world.

Long story short - I'm missing my family like crazy but I'm finally excited about getting into the holiday spirit, California style. Bring on the festivities!


15 comments:

  1. I can't wait for Christmas too! ♥

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    1. It's exciting but hard to believe it's coming up so soon!

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  2. I can't imagine being away from my 'big' family for the holidays. On the other hand, sometimes I crave a little alone time with MY little family of three. I want to create traditions of our own, and make every year as magical as the ones I had growing up. I can't believe it is only 3 weeks away!!

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    1. Me either, it has come up so quickly again! It's funny how having kids motivates us to make our own little family traditions - it's special :)

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  3. I don't have a very big family, so I am used to small gatherings, but my husband on the other hand, has a huge family. So I have had to get accustomed to multiple stops during the holidays. Sometimes I wish we could celebrate with a relaxing day at home for the holidays versus going here there and everywhere! Even in the light of things I hope you can get in the spirit soon for little man, he will enjoy your new holiday traditions just as you did with your family! :)

    Jessica @ Boys Oh Boys

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    1. That would be a shock when you're not used to it! We only ever had to travel max 2hrs between families and even that I found a little tiring, multiple stops would become exhausting. We are starting to get in the festive spirit here now :)

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  4. Im sure youll have a wonderful christmas with your new family :) New traditions are hard at first but will eventually be easier in the coming years :) ENJOY the holidays!! :)

    ♥,
    Shari

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    1. Thank you, I'm actually kinda excited about it now :) Hope you enjoy the festive season also!

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  5. First of all, I have to say that I cannot imagine a warm Christmas for the life of me. I've lived in Boston my whole life and it's supposed to be freezing during this time of the year :)

    It must be so hard being away from your family, but they'll be there in spirit and just think of all the new memories you're making with your own family!

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    1. It's something that I'd suggest trying once - it's a very unique experience! Although a summer Christmas will always feel 'right' to me, I am loving the winter experience - there's something cool about listening to carols about it snowing while decorating the tree and looking out the window to discover it actually IS snowing! (instead of being over 100degrees!).

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  6. I hope you have a wonderful Christmas, regardless of the circumstances! We're in PA this year but are moving to New Mexico soon, so I'm soaking up what will be my last "cold weather" holiday for awhile :-)

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    1. That will be a change! Enjoy your last true wintery Christmas :)

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  7. I know what you mean. My husband and I have spent Christmas away from my family every year since we've been married, save one. We contemplated me and the baby flying north this year, but felt that staying put here in the sunny tropics was what God was leading toward this season, so here I'll be. Of course, being away from family really makes you nostalgic, but at least for me it makes the desire to start family traditions of our own even stronger. Enjoy your Cali Christmas!

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  8. Thank you, enjoy your warm Christmas :) That'd feel like home to me!

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  9. I love that you took your little one home for the ultimate surprise. I've done that before too (between states) and it was priceless. :)

    I like your positive attitude in spite of missing your family. Merry Christmas!

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Thanks for reading, your comments make my day :-)

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