Thursday, December 8, 2011

What if he doesn't know where I am?

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One of my greatest fears as a child was that Santa wouldn't be able to find me. We moved around a lot when I was growing up so I would worry come Christmas Eve that Santa's nice list wasn't completely up to date. There was actually one Christmas where we were at my grandparents house because we moved to Newfoundland on Boxing Day. My fear was further compounded by the fact that a few of the houses we lived in growing up didn't have chimneys. How ever would Santa get in? My parents simply explained, "magic." Well that makes logical sense now doesn't it?

Sure this year I'm not afraid Santa won't be able to find me (though I firmly believe the moment you stop believing you get underwear for Christmas) but if I'm honest I was afraid we were going to spend more time than necessarily wallowing in the fact that we're far from home.

This Christmas we're 7000 kilometers away from our families and friends. This is not my first experience being far away from family at Christmas. When I was 11 my family was living in Newfoundland and all we had was each other. And this was the days before cheap long distance, skype and email was in its infancy. It was the first time we were truly on our own for Christmas. My parents took us to a Christmas Eve party that was thrown by other "Come from Aways" and it was there that I not only learned first hand that when your family isn't near by, you create your own. I also learned you make Christmas what you want it to be regardless of who is and is not close by.

We haven't been here long enough to create a pseudo family but the effort we're putting into Christmas is much greater than previous years. We're not going through the motions. It's a remarkable thing. Especially for me because I married the Grinch.

Seriously. I did.

Our first Christmas as a married couple he made me cry because he didn't see the point in getting stockings for us to hang in our own place because he had one at his parents place and besides I didn't fill stockings anyway. Cue tears in the Christmas aisle at Sears. Then there was the time he threatened to kill me with an axe if I hung bells on the door knobs. Stop being so horrified it was a hilarious exchange that occurred at Canadian Tire that included a horrified woman standing behind Johnathan that I could see and he could not. To this day we worry she thinks I've been hacked to death over tinsel.

But this year is different. He's actually trying. I can hear the jaws drop of those who know us in real life from here.

I will be honest though, we both resent people who complain about having to divide their time between families this year. We want to slap people who tell us they wish they were like us who have no one near by so we don't have to be anywhere for Christmas they don't want to be. We can do what we want and not work other people into our schedule. A friend of ours told us that he's not looking forward to spending Christmas with his wifes family for the first time because it was her family and not his and apparently they don't do Christmas right (I didn't know you could do it wrong.) Our response to all of this, wow it must be hard having all those people to choose from to spend Christmas with. [insert cold glare here.]

The glare which says
"Oh no you have to spend Christmas
with family and friends. Your life is hard."
Bitterness at our friends lame Holiday problems aside we're not looking for a pity party. We're looking to make the most of this. We will be opening presents via webcam with friends and family (my family has been doing this for the last 4 years so I'm an old hat at this.) We've been enjoying mulled wine and being in a place where my families traditions suddenly make sense to John. The Christmas markets are beyond words. Though I still hate roasted chestnuts.

Then we went to his office Christmas party and had a blast. Of all the office Christmas parties we've been to, this was the least stuffy...and this a branch of the United Nations we're talking about. Which leads me to believe the other places John has worked takes themselves WAY to seriously. The added bonus was  we were in a  room full of people who are in our position. There was a lot of talk about "what are you doing for Christmas?"..."Are you staying here?"...."Are you going home to Canada?" So many people are just like us, they will be here, without family, for Christmas. If I may quote Red Green, "We're all in this together."

Oh and to the cotton-headed ninny muggins of a family member that told us we should prepare ourselves to not get anything from our families for Christmas because we live so far away....we hope you get coal. Pin It Now!

2 comments:

  1. Funny stuff. I've never seen axe-murder and tinsel linked before.

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  2. We alternate now between going to SK to see our families one year, and staying in Winnipeg the next year. The years we go home are great, but the years that it's just the two of us are fantastic too. I admit that I love not having to divide our time between four divorced parents. I love setting our own schedule and doing exactly what I want. I love the low-keyness of our 2-person Christmas.

    What I love the most, though, is establishing Christmas traditions that are just our own. We buy a new board game and play it while eating appetizers on Christmas Eve. We cook a big breakfast, open presents in our pyjamas and then take the dogs out some fun/snowy/woodsy for a walk. If we feel like it, we go to one of the movies that open on Christmas day. The best thing that we ever did, Christmas-wise, was to embrace our 2-person Christmas and work on making it our own.

    Try to see this Christmas as your first Christmas with just the two of you instead of your first Christmas without family, and make some new family traditions that you can bring back to Canada with you.

    Ms Married

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