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.