So Christmas has now come and gone, and I wanted to reflect on the holiday season. With this year being my first year not spent with my family, fighting snowstorms, or bundling up, it was so strange for me. It truly was hard to make myself get into the spirit with 28 degree weather, and no snow. But despite being 15, 800 kilometers from home I tried to get in the spirit. I bought the presents, I sent the cards, and did some baking too. But I realized despite all the hustle and bustle of Christmas, it truly wasn’t the same without my family. No amount of presents or food could fill that spot.
But I remained optimistic to still make it a memorable day, and that it was. I had my first stocking ever, and tons of gifts – way more than I had ever received before (my family isn’t big on gifts – everyone gets 1 gift bag). One of the most wonderful Yorkshire man (and the only one) I met while on the East Coast joined us for the day too. I think he had a hard time wrapping his head around a hot Christmas but he was lovely company and I loved hearing his families Christmas traditions too. But what was the strangest thing for me was that I had a sunburn on Christmas (something I never experienced before). In the afternoon we went for a picnic, came back and had some drinks out back. We then had the great Who Feast outside in perfect weather – you name it we had it and they made me peas and gravy too. Yay! After dinner we did something my family traditionally does and watched Mr. Bean’s Christmas special, and then watched some non- traditional movies like Charlie Brown, and Love Actually. Pretty hard to top a day like that I’m sure.
When I was settling in for the night, I Skyped my parents from Canada and watched them open their gifts I had gotten them. We Skyped for 2 hours, laughing, chatting, making family jokes and that put me at ease. I’m so truly thankful for such an amazing family, they support me no matter the time, the place, or the circumstance. I think back to all our family traditions and I am so thankful for them, we spend so much time together and for me, family is Christmas.
I had such an amazing ‘Chrissy’ though, regardless of the location, or the weather, I spent it with my awesome second family as we feasted, drank, and picnic’d our way through Christmas.
Merry Christmas all and Happy New Year! Sending love, happiness, and sunshine from Down Under!
Christmas is the spirit of giving without a thought of getting. It is happiness because we see joy in people. It is forgetting self and finding time for others. It is discarding the meaningless and stressing the true values. – Thomas S. Monson