As an emigrant, there’s always a temptation to feel a bit sorry for myself at this time of year. Boo hoo, I’m far from my family. I’ve nobody to invite to dinner on Christmas Day. I’ve nowhere to go. Nobody has a present under their tree for me. Tragedy and woe.
The thing about America, and probably everywhere else, is that lots of people are far from family. Even if they’re in the country, they’re not necessarily traveling at this time of year, for a multitude of potential reasons.
What’s more, family and holidays can go together like siblings and cabin fever, if you get my drift. Sometimes it’s just a recipe for fights and disaster, and avoiding it all and having a quiet immediate-family-only Christmas is the stuff of daydreams for many.
So while a chunk of me wishes we were in Ireland for the friends-and-rellies, all-you-can-eat-and-more-than-you-should-drink extravaganza, I’m appreciating how peaceful and simple our Christmas here is. I finally embraced the miracle of the modern age and did all my shopping online, so I didn’t even have to go through the packing-and-shipping angst of yesteryear. Amazon Prime’s two-day shipping is my new best friend.
We have friends to invite over and we have friends to go and see. We have new and old traditions to establish and to continue. We’ve iced gingerbread cookies and gone to see the Nutcracker. We’ve decorated the tree and gone ice skating. The children’s capacity for enjoyable anticipation has long since expired and they just want it to be here.
It’s nearly here. We’re nearly there.