Wednesday, December 16, 2015

I Won't be Home for Christmas

 
If you’ve been reading my blog for the past month or so, you’ll know that I just recently moved to a different state. Since I relocated from Maine to Virginia, travel back and forth can be an interesting affair. Plane tickets, especially last-minute ones, tend to be expensive, and driving there and back presents a significant time investment. Not to mention the fact that my sister (who I live with now) has to work on Christmas Eve. So, all that to say, I won’t be going home this time around.

This will be the first year either of us has been away for Christmas, and it will take some adjusting. Of course, we will try to maintain some of our traditions, like binge-watching Doctor Who and waking up to goody-stuffed stockings. We will make wassail and buy sparkling grape juice (and we’ll cross out the “non” on the label where it says “non-alcoholic” because yeah, we live on the edge like that). A couple weeks ago my sister bought a Christmas tree and brought it back strapped to the top of my little Ford Focus, and now it graces our kitchen with its loveliness (the tree, not the car). So we’re doing all right.

But in case you were wondering, Virginia is not Maine. It’s not really anything like Maine. It has different grocery stores and different restaurants and different people. Maine is rather rural, and the county where I spent most of my childhood is known for being one of the poorest counties in the US. Now I live near the richest county in the country, so saying things are different here would be a bit of an understatement. In Maine, winter has always been a snowy affair. Last year was especially bad, and the snowbanks at the ends of the driveway got to be taller than me (I’m almost 5’7”). It felt like I spent more time shoveling than breathing. Here, though, the prospects of having a white Christmas are next to nil.

So yes, Christmas here will not be the same as Christmas there. I will miss the magical feeling of looking out the window of my cousins’ house and seeing, yet again, all those fluffy snowflakes floating down to kiss the earth on Christmas day. I will miss the sugar cookies my aunt usually makes and the grand selection of pies in the pantry. I will miss watching It’s a Wonderful Life on Christmas Eve with my cousins, and I will miss waking up early and sneaking downstairs with those same cousins to open our stockings in the dark even though none of us are little children anymore. I will miss the people.

This year the two of us will have to forge our own Christmas path. It will be much quieter here, since even my sister’s college friends will be home spending the holiday with their families. We’ll have to occupy ourselves some other way. We could take a walk among the trees around our cul-de-sac and pretend the branches are laden with snow instead of deer ticks. We could make imaginary snow men. We could even throw pieces of store-bought ice at each other and pretend we’re having a snowball fight. The possibilities are endless.

Either way, we’ll be okay. True, we’ll end up missing out on what the rest of our family is doing, and sure, it will be rather quiet here. But my sister and I haven’t forgotten the main reason why we celebrate Christmas in the first place. More than family and presents, Christmas is about gratitude—it’s about celebrating the fact that Jesus came to earth to pay the ultimate price for our sins. And I can’t be lonely when I’m thinking about that sort of love.  

What about you, little coffee beans? What are your plans for this Christmas?

16 comments:

  1. Aw, that must be a little bit hard though...I mean with Christmas being kind of about family. *nods* But good on you for making your own traditions and having a good time anyway! :D And it's always fun to do stuff with sisters, right?!?! xD
    My plans are = no plans. Actually, hehe, my older sister is visiting in early January with her new baby, but that's not exactly Christmas plans, more like holiday plans. BUT THAT'S EXCITING. And hopefully it'll stop raining so we can bombarde the beach with 294829 gazillion other Aussies because that's apparently what we think Christmas is all about. hehe.
    Also fruit mince pies. Omg. pie. I. LOVE. PIE.
    Also you're really tall!! I'm 5'1 and feel like a teeny hobbit in your presence. XD

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah, I mean, there were definitely aspects of previous Christmases that I missed. But I still had a lot of fun inventing new traditions, and it was great to at least have my sister. :)
      I hope you had a really great Christmas! :) Thinking about swimming on Christmas in the Northern Hemisphere is just a tiny bit terrifying, but I hope you had a lot of fun. :)
      PIE. IS. DELICIOUS.
      Yes, I am super tall. *nods* I will make sure not to step on you, though.

      Delete
  2. I'm sorry that you don't get to spend Christmas with your family this year. :( Still, I'm also glad that you and your sister will find something different and personal for you both to do on your own! :D I don't really have any particular Christmas plans, although my aunt is going to visit us from Nebraska. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's okay--I had a really great Christmas anyway. :) It was actually super fun trying to figure out how to make Christmas special in new and exciting ways. I hope you had a wonderful Christmas!

      Delete
  3. I know this is a big transition for you. This reminds me a lot of Owl City's "The Christmas Song." Christmas is about Jesus's birthday ultimately, the biggest Christmas gift the world has ever received. Though Christmas may be different for you, I hope it is still a joyous one. *hugs* Merry merry Christmas!

    storitorigrace.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah, but it was a surprisingly fun transition, after I got down here, especially considering how much I don't like change. Owl City. <3 I'm super grateful for Jesus' birthday and all that it entails, and it's super hard to be depressed about anything considering how much he gave us by dying for us. It was definitely a very joyous Christmas! Merry (belated) Christmas to you too! I hope you had a wonderful Christmas. :)

      Delete
  4. That's really sad.
    From Maine to Virginia does sound like a huge transition. O_O
    I've never had a white Christmas. I live in Texas and we don't get a lot of snow. Some ice at the beginning of the year, maybe, but that's it.
    My Christmas is definitely going to be different. Usually it's just my immediate family, but my grandparents are over for part of the week. Also, my brother just got married, like yesterday, so he and his wife will be over.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's okay--I had a good time anyway. :)
      Yep, it's a pretty big transition. Everything down here is so much different from everything up there. But I'm enjoying it. :)
      Aww, no white Christmases? *sad face* I have some cousins who live in Texas, and I think they've only had snow once or twice.
      I hope you had a wonderful Christmas, and I hope you had a wonderful time with your family! :)

      Delete
  5. Come spend Christmas with your Uncle Dale, my mom and me! We'd love to have you join us. You can even stay overnight if you want.

    Love, Aunt Kathy

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for the invite! Sorry we haven't had a chance to meet up yet. :( I hope you had a wonderful Christmas! :) Love you too!

      Delete
  6. That sucks that you don't get to spend Christmas with your family this year, but at least you're with your sister :/ That sounds like a pretty big transition but I'm sure you'll still have a great Christmas.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I had my sister, so it wasn't awful. It would have been much worse without anyone around, although I think I would still have had a good time. It definitely was a big transition, but I've really enjoyed living down here. I hope you had a wonderful Christmas!

      Delete
  7. Lovely post, though it does suck that you won't be able to be with your family this Christmas. Hope it's still a great one, though! :D

    Also, I live in Virginia too, and yeah, unfortunately, white Christmases don't really happen here. We can always pray for a miracle, though, right? ;)


    Alexa
    thessalexa.blogspot.com
    verbositybookreviews.wordpress.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Aww, thank you! I had a great Christmas. :)

      Ah well, we didn't get our white Christmas. Or at least, I didn't. But Virginia is still beautiful. :) I hope you had a wonderful Christmas!

      Delete