First Christmas Back

It’s been some time since I’ve been able to have a white Christmas with my family. For the past three years, Christmas has been 90 degrees, shorts, sand, some sunscreen, your jandals, and a bach to hang with your friends in. Paradise, some of you may be thinking right about now. Well, I found these versions of Christmas to be rather…unfulfilled. Where’s the snow? Where’s the pine tree? Where are the snowmen? Why do ALL Christmas songs feel so hollow when heard on a tropical Island?

For most of my life, Christmas has been cold, mostly snowy, and cheerful…more than half of the time, haha. The halls were decked…literally. My mom took care of the home. Smells of pine and wrapping paper mixed with cranberry sauce and holiday ham permeated the living room. The whole family would be there Christmas morning, every year, to open presents with each other. Some years there would be many presents. Other years, there would be one. Obviously, the point was that our traditions, whether they were old or newly created, would stand the test of time. Family was and is important.

I have to admit, I really, really missed the Christmas’s of old when I was living in NZ. Quite hard to hear, “It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas…” while applying sunscreen and think to yourself, “Yeah, yeah, it really is isn’t it!” This always made me very homesick and gave me SERIOUS FOMO when I got pictures of Christmas morning. I’m excited to now pass on these traditions with my nieces and nephews and make sure that they have some great memories of their own to think back on years from now. Even though time changes a lot of things, like the extended family getting too large for us all to meet anymore for the holidays, or my sisters getting married and having to split time between families, or me being gone for three years…we still try.

I seriously love my family and all that we’ve been through. I’m sure we’ve had more skint years around the Christmas tree than fruitful ones, but we always manage to bring it back to the real reason we’re celebrating. Heritage is important, and bringing the little ones into that is a very large part of that.

I know that not everyone has this experience, and I’m not naive in forgetting those hurting on this time every year. I’m just giving a shout-out to my God fearing Mom and Dad for blessing us kids with a healthy understanding of what Christmas is…whether that was in plenty or in want. Our Saviors birth is something easily overlooked in the chaos of December. Slow down and remember Him this year. Thank Him for coming down and bridging the gap for us. You’ll feel better for it, and maybe pass that thankfulness onto another person needing a great deal of love. Merry Christmas to you, and God Bless.

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