Friday, December 23, 2005

I am home for Christmas

I feel conflicted about Christmas. Don't get me wrong, I love it. Christmas is by far my favourite holiday of the entire year. I start early, and love every minute. Mostly. There's always been something niggling in the back of my mind, though, and this year I sat down and worked it out.
Christmas is usually a time for family. It's when people gather from all ends of the country, and smile at each other, and feel kindhearted. Even if no one ever speaks to each other all year, they can chat and feel the love over the turkey.
I want to feel the need to see my family at Christmas. I want us to all look forward to being together, even if it means limiting conversation to the most neutral topics. In years past, I've thought I wanted to see my family. I thought I was feeling homesick. I didn't quite get how this was possible, since I haven't wanted to go home since the day I left. I know that having an entire country between me and my parents is just about the right amount of distance. Christmas growing up was not always a fuzzy, warm Norman Rockwell event. So why did the sight of those first holiday decorations make me yearn for home? Why did the song "I'll be Home for Christmas" bring tears to my eyes?
Turns out, it wasn't the particular people or place I was missing. I didn't really want to sit through a tense and hostile holiday with people who are family in name only. What I really wanted was the feeling of family.
I have that now. I have my own little family, and we are complete. Hubby and I are parents together, and it's an awesome feeling. I have a little girl to make cookies with. I see my baby son running to look at the snow, each and every morning. We decorated our home for the season, together. We were all driving into town to do some last minute shopping, singing and laughing, and I realized "This is it. This is what I wanted."
Tomorrow night, Hubby will take the kids outside, and they will burn the tissue paper with their letters to Santa, and watch the sparks and ashes drift upwards to his magical sled. I will teach our children the songs and recipes. We will continue some of our childhood traditions, and we will create many more in this, our family. Finally, I feel like I am home for Christmas, and this is where I belong.


Twisted Cinderella said...

I completely understand this. This year is the first year being home for Christmas meant being in our home and having family near by too. Lack of money and everything aside this is the true meaning of Christmas.

Lisa said...

I've never heard of "sending letters to Santa" that way. Does everybody in your neck of the woods do that or is it something just your family does? WHAT A GREAT IDEA! I'd love to "hear the story" behind it! How cool!

Oh please if you get a chance, e-mail me "the story" of that tradition & its origins.

Also, I hope you don't mind, but I'm going to copy/paste that segment from your blog, into mine.

Thanks for sharing.

Lisa on Prospect Hill

J&J's Mom said...

This was the first year we were alone for extended family members or friends, no pressure to cook, just time to "be". It was the best feeling ever! Glad you had a fabulous Christmas ;0) Happy New Year!

debby said...

What a beautiful post. I hope it was everything you hoped it would be and more! I also have never heard of "sending" letters to Santa like that - sounds awesome!

Bethany Hiitola said...

What you described is MY DREAM as well. However being 400+ miles away from our *extended* family has pressured us to drive to see THEM--even though we are the ones that have a 3 year old. Even with my persisting that THIS year we stay home. I can cross my fingers for next year right?