Monday, December 16, 2013

Oh right, there it is.

My best friend just got engaged!!! So go tell her congratulations. I'll wait.

There are times of the year that are harder than others for me when it comes to being an expat. This is one of them. I had been feeling so good, so excited the past few days that I thought maybe this was the year I wouldn't get so homesick. I wouldn't miss the snowy Christmas with the cold short days of winter, the Christmas cookies, the stocking my grandmother made that we hang on our wood fired stove. A real Christmas tree.

Clearly, it is not that year. It happened yesterday. I wasn't ready for it. I skyped with my parents in the morning, my mom has been baking Christmas cookies for days half a dozen or more different kinds (cappuccino coins, crinkles, butter balls, sugar cookies, etc etc) and even while she skyped she took trays of cookies in and out of the oven.  They told me of the approaching snow storm and how cold it's been.

And then the news of my best friend getting engaged and I'm just a wee bit too far away to be able to give her the giant celebratory hugs that I feel like are necessary at this very moment.

Nothing about Christmas is familiar to me here. And in someways, that's comforting because I can kind of pretend (at least in public) that it's not Christmas at all and that it's just another day. I just went back into my archives because I had assumed that I've written this post every year since I moved here. But December 2012 and December 2011 seem to be devoid of the "I'm homesick woe is me" blog posts. So I'll just have to tell you that I cry every Christmas Eve while Inspector Climate rubs my back and I wail that I just want to go home. Except that I actually whisper it because I don't want to his parents to think that I'm not grateful for being welcomed into their home or to worry about me (or to worry that I'm going to make Inspector Climate move to the US with me tomorrow).

In summation, I just want to be at home. I want Christmas traditions that are familiar to me. I want to embrace the holiday spirit instead of pretending it doesn't exist to protect myself.


  1. I know the feeling. I'm going through the same thing right now, and I'm not sure it will ever get easier spending Xmas in France and not "back home". I just want the holidays to be over, and am trying to convince myself that next week is just another normal week...


  2. Aw. Your post has made my heart hurt.

  3. Oh, I'm just so sorry! I get to spend Christmas at home . . . but I'm sad that it will be the third year spending it without my brother, sister-in-law and wee nephew. I guess being an expat is a bit hard on all hearts involved . . .wretched business, that. :(

  4. I'm so sorry - maybe one year you two can come and celebrate Christmas back home? It's not the same without cold weather is it??

  5. :( it must be so hard to be away from home during this time of year. i know skype is not the same but at least you can use that to chat/see them.

    Vodka and Soda

  6. Being away from home was hard that one Christmas in Australia for me -- missing several in a row would definitely be a challenge. I'm leaving in a couple of days to spend the holidays with Gav's family, and while that'll be great, I'm already said to be missing traditions with my family here.

    Sending happy Christmas thoughts your way <3

  7. Will you guys be able to do alternating years??? I know how hard that is. HUGS my darling...

  8. I wish you were here for huggs too! I miss you ever so much during Christmas, and I wish you were here for this particular Christmas. But, at least we have skype!! Lova you soo much!

  9. The holidays are always so important to my family so I can't imagine being so far away. Big hug to you this holiday season and sending you warm thoughts from the US

  10. Oh no. It makes my heart ache to know that you are feeling this way, I wish I could say something to make it better. I know I can't though. All I know is that this year Christmas is going to be hard for me. I could not get the time off from work, so Colon will be going back to Florida without me. I will be here....with no one.

    Just know that I am here if you need someone to talk to.

    XO Lourdes

  11. So I think I've asked you this before or someone else probably has before but do you think you guys will ever move to the US?

    1. We don't really know. We might some day. But then I'd feel pretty awful because I know IC would get equally if not more homesick than I do.

  12. What helped me last year was talking to my family on the phone on Christmas Eve. It wasn't the same as being there with them, but it made me smile and feel "homey."

    And sometimes you just have to cry a little! And eat something delicious afterwards.