Reinventing Christmas

Christmas is a strange time for me. On one hand it’s my favorite holiday. I frigging LOVE Christmas. But on the other hand it stirs up a lot of emotions that don’t always feel so merry. You see, my husband, Pat, and I are living in Christmas limbo.

We’re too old to be in that whimsical Christmas phase of childhood, but we’re not yet in that generational shift where we become the parents. This will be the fourth Christmas without my mom. Christmas was always her favorite holiday. She loved decorating the house, pulling out all the ancient Christmas decorations, and cooking the biggest Christmas dinner. She was an excellent present giver, and always seemed to know exactly what people wanted. Christmas has never quite been the same without her, and while I’m trying to carry on her traditions, I always feel like something’s missing.

Then there’s the distance. For Pat and I, this will be our second Christmas away from home and away from our families. For the first two years of living in S.C. we braved the trip back to Canada, but after a very dangerous drive in 2012, we decided that risking that trip, or spending a fortune to fly home, doesn’t really put us in the Christmas spirit. Missing family at Christmas is hard, and knowing that those old traditions back home are going on without us isn’t easy.

Last year we started recollecting Christmas decorations, since we left most of ours back home when we moved. Yesterday I pulled them out, and it was nice to see all the things we acquired that will become our new tradition year after year. It’s like we’re rebuilding a holiday routine, and while we’re not quite sure what will stick, we’re having fun trying to figure it out.

Luckily my aunt and uncle live here, so we’re not completely without family during the holidays, and we have an amazing group of friends that invite us into their homes on Christmas Eve and Christmas day. We’ll be doing the same thing we did last year which, I guess, makes this our new tradition.

This weekend I’ll probably break out the Christmas movies. One of my all time favorites is One Magic Christmas.

OneMagicChristmasIt’s a Canadian film that my sister and I used to watch every single Christmas until I moved away. I miss having my sister with me, but I’ll probably call her and she roll her eyes, cause I think she secretly hates that movie and I made her watch it all those years.

Sometimes I get sad watching Christmas movies or listening to Christmas music because of the nostalgic feelings they evoke. I miss the loved ones I’ve lost, I miss the loved ones that live far away, and I miss the periods of time that I didn’t know were precious until they were gone. I think we all have those melancholy moments at Christmas, but it’s all part of growing up, right?

At this point in our lives, Pat and I are our own family, and S.C. is our home. We can either sulk about the things we miss or the things we don’t have, or we can blast Mariah Carey’s ALL I WANT FOR CHRISTMAS, decorate the heck out of our Christmas tree, and make the most of our new Christmas adventures. We’ll have fun with our friends, eat too much food, drink too much of whatever is being served, and eventually we’ll have our own traditions to carry on.

Reinventing Christmas is challenging, but it doesn’t have to be hard. And when I get a moment of sadness, this will always cheer me up! 🙂