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."
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.