Christmas is not an eternal event at all, but a piece of one’s home that carries in one’s heart – Freya Stark.
It’s hard to believe that this time last year I was sunning myself up in the southern parts of Australia, readying myself for a Christmas full of sunshine, beaches, barbies and even dolphin spotting. To be completely honest, in the entire run up to Christmas Day, my friends and I couldn’t stop talking about Christmas 2017. There we were, in Australia, discussing how excited we were for a cold wintery Christmas spent in front of fires, wrapped up in jumpers and scarves. It is safe to say we all felt a little homesick during the period that is renowned for being the most magical time of the year to be spent with family and friends. However homesick we were – I started a stream of tears because I’m way over emotional at times – we had a pretty fab day.
To me, it didn’t feel like Christmas Day. It didn’t have that smell in the air, or that cosy feeling. To me, it felt like a pretty amazing Sunday spent with friends on a beach under the sun. We even took our Santa hats down to the ocean so that we could have a little piece of home tradition in our photos and surrounding our every move. The day itself was great. It really was. We sunbathed in bikinis and swimming trunks and spotted dolphins in the distance. We had lots of prosecco and ate incredible hamburgers, sausages, nachos, salsa and chocolate.
Part of me wishes I could have lived in the moment a little more, because I’ll never experience that day again in my life. I doubt I’ll go to a hot country for Christmas again any time soon; Christmas is cold and being in a hot country makes it all topsy turvy. Plenty of people love to be sunbathing abroad, but it doesn’t feel like the same holiday to me. I think I’m an inner home bird when it comes to birthdays and holidays; I like to be surrounded by all my loved ones. Perhaps it’s instilled on everyone, through western media and cinema, that the ideal Christmas is one filled with snow and darkness whilst eating the biggest turkey ever and drinking mulled wine – not that I particularly like mulled wine. I’ll stick to the prosecco. Or bucks fizz.
Reflecting on the day, I did really enjoy myself. I loved opening presents in the morning with my friends; I loved topping up my tan on the beach and playing in the beautiful ocean; I loved eating so much food that I went into a food coma and had a 4pm nap; I loved playing Heads Up around the dinner table and having fits of giggles as everybody tried to guess what they were, and I especially loved watching my parents wrap themselves in Christmas paper over Skype which they definitely wouldn’t have done if I were with them in person!
I’m happy I’m at home at this point in my life, but I think that being away last year has made me appreciate Christmas so much more this year. I’ve never been so organised with my presents and I have never been this excited about Christmas time, ever; I’ve been talking about Christmas since about September and usually I’m the last person to be like “Put Mariah on the radio!” So, I’m thankful I got to experience it, and I’m mega grateful of how the experience has influenced my thoughts and eagerness for this Christmas.
Have you spent a Christmas away from home before? Are you away from home this year? How do you feel about it all?
Love, Faye xo