I love the holidays. LED lights and soft piano music seem to make the winter a more bearable time. The icy sidewalks and frosty breath seem to be part of the charm, though I know that come January I’ll feel slightly less amiable about it.
A Christmas in Newfoundland, like many places, is a time for drinking copiously with family and eating unhealthy amounts of potatoes, boiled carrots, cabbage, ham or turkey with gravy, pea soup, and sweets (of course) like fruitcake and chocolates. My family’s tradition has remained pretty much the same for the last 20 years. The funny thing is that the traditions don’t seem so apparent until you are missing them.
In 2008, I spent Christmas Eve night dancing at a near-empty bar on the beach in Freeport, in the Bahamas. In 2012, I mimicked my family’s traditions in my studio apartment in South Korea. I cooked scalloped potatoes in the oven in my cooking classroom at work before coming home because the apartment had no oven. This time, 2014, I’m within the country but still over 4000 km away.
I’ve never been the most sentimental person, but something about the holidays seems to bring this up. I miss spending time with my family in my adult years. The thought of missing out on the fun, not being part of the memories, gets to me when the time rolls around.
The thing is, I’m an introvert. Not the cool, quirky kind, but the socially awkward and timid kind. Getting to know my extended family can be tough for me, though I do want to. Christmas is a happy time for my family, a time where I have always felt closer to them. Losing that makes me feel as though I am drifting away. Too deep, let’s haul it back.
So, this Christmas, I’ll make scalloped potatoes in my very own oven, and cross the distance via Skype. I’ll drink wine and cheers, while sitting awkwardly on a screen in front of a crowded room, watching and listening intently. It’s not family time without a little awkwardness, right?
How will your holidays be spent this year? Home or away, let me know!
(feature image by James Offer – with modifications)
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Interested in hearing more stories about Christmas away from home? Check out this post from Feet On Foreign Lands!