Tuesday, December 24, 2013
I'll Be Homesick For Christmas
The last Christmas I spent at my parents' house in Florida was in 2008. Can you believe that? In 2009, we were all in Seoul visiting my brother Phillip, and despite being far from home, we were all together for a gorgeous white Christmas. I moved to Seoul myself in February of 2010, then to Qingdao, China in November 2010, so every Christmas since has been spent here.
Jeremy, Raelynn and I have managed to make our own little traditions revolving around our slightly pathetic little Christmas tree and I'm happy we can make special memories together. It will be Raelynn's 3rd Christmas this year and now she's old enough to know what's up. She was worried Santa wouldn't come and we've been lording it over her head so she'll be good. She's currently sound asleep this Christmas Eve, hopefully having sweet dreams.
And in our room, I'm missing my family and the traditions we had together when I lived in the states. Christmas at my parents' house is an amazing event. It begins whenever we roll out of bed to open gifts. Even the family dog, Tasha, knows Christmas is special and she's ready for the fun too. We enjoy mimosas and exchange presents, then Mom makes some insanely delicious things for breakfast. Florida is lovely at this time of year. The sun is warm but the air is cool and comfortable. Perfect for lounging by the pool. Drinks and a dip in the water. Small lunch to tide us over. Then Mom begins making an epic meal. I assist and we watch A Christmas Story over and over and over again on TNT, never tiring of it as we recite it verbatim. After a dinner that about makes us all pop, we lazily help Mom clean up and then one by one, pass out from our glorious food comas. Yes, Christmas at the Raskin house is something I miss dearly. I miss my stocking which, to my knowledge, they STILL hang up even though I'm not going to be there to see it. I miss all the Christmas decorations Mom adorns the home with. And most of all, I miss my folks. And Tasha.
I just saw my family a couple months ago in Shanghai. It was a great visit, but like all great visits, it just flew by. About a month ago, I Skyped with my folks and they'd told me they were sending us a package for Christmas. I thought it was incredibly sweet and figured there would be a gift for Raelynn and some chocolate. When it arrived and I opened it up, I was so touched by this package. I never expected them to go to such great detail. There were some clothes for Raelynn, a talking Dora doll, a Dora book, a Dora adventure phone and a variety of other little things for their only grandchild. And then there was the chocolate. Mom sent me so many of my favorite chocolatey treats I couldn't believe it. Things you can't find in China. AND some cans of artichoke hearts (they are insanely expensive here) and packets of Hollandaise sauce. To top it all off, they even included 2 whole rolls of Christmas wrapping paper and a small Scotch tape dispenser. Over the last few years, I've missed my folks during Christmas, but this year, I miss them even more. I wish we could be in the same place so that they could watch Raelynn open her gifts.
My husband of course understands this and has done everything to make me feel less homesick. He likes to hear about how my family celebrates Christmas. But he also likes to make our Christmas here as special as possible so that I feel less sad. My school is one of the few schools here to be closed on Christmas so I have the day off to spend with my beautiful Raelynn and to attempt to cook a meal even 1/4 as awesome as my Mom would make. Also, no MIL! Hooray! That might just be the best gift of all next to my 2 months of paid vacation that starts in January. I guess it's a very Merry Christmas after all!