It’s only 8 sleeps until my family arrives! I’m so excited. Unfortunately I got hit with a bit of a cold yesterday. It was inevitable. I felt it coming weeks ago and attacked it by overdosing on vitamin C, but with not sleeping well this last week and feeling my body slowly unwind from the state of constant busyness that it’s been in for the last few months the cold won. Back to pumping 2000 mg of vitamin C, and per my mothers “rules” for running a cold out of town, lots of fluids. And some Nyquil so I could get a good sleep and let my body rest. My other little trick for that is three pillows so I’m sleeping more upright and my nasal passages can’t get as stuffed up. Works like a charm. I WILL be better by next week!
I keep thinking about Christmas and the contrasts between Haiti and Christmas back home. It’s so different getting ready for the holidays knowing we’ll be far removed from all of the hustle and bustle of the holidays, and the pressure to spend, spend, spend.
I find myself thinking about how much more low key Christmas will be for us this year. Removed from the pressures of making everything “perfect” I find myself enjoying things more. There will be no traveling for us this year, so no stress of having to pack for every possible weather situation and activity. There will be no running from place to place for activities, because there aren’t the activities to go to. Instead the things we’ll be doing will be very family focused and I’m SO looking forward to that. And low key. I’m also looking forward to that. Because we’ll be on holidays we won’t have any mission demands, so we can just do whatever we want for the entire time my family is here. There will be no schedules.
There isn’t the pressure to have things looking perfect either. In the last week Yonese and I have given the house a very good cleaning. Not because it’s Christmas, but because it needed to be done. With the constant flow of visitors coming and going my time has been spent elsewhere and things get neglected. Things that I’ve looked at for months and said, “You know, that really needs to be done.” Now they’re done. And it feels good. I’ll be honest, I love a clean house. It gives me a sense of being able to relax, and I so need that right now. Aside from that though, no perfection here. My family is bringing some Christmas decorations with them, like a small tree and some lights etc, and we’ll have fun putting it all up after they arrive. That’s it though.
There will be no running from store to store for last minute gifts and groceries. I’ll do a grocery shop on the day we pick my family up and that’s it for the time that they’re here. Last year we did all of our Christmas shopping online, so when we arrived at Chris’ parents house for the holidays we just had to de-box things and wrap and it was SO much better than fighting the stores. This year we’re keeping our gift giving simple and I’m either making the gifts or we’ve selected one thing that the person would really like. It feels good to not be stuck in the trap of feeling like it’s not enough.
There won’t be more food in the house than we can eat in a month. We’ll have a nice Christmas dinner with a turkey and all the fixings, but simple fixings. Not more than we need. I told my mom that we would look forward to doing Christmas in Canada and the things that it holds there, but this year things would be simple because we live here. It’s traditional for my family to have a nice candle-lit dinner on Christmas Eve, just us, and that’s something we’ll still be doing, but the menu will be simpler and the company will be the focus. I’m excited about that. I have done some baking and have plans for a couple more things this week. Nothing over the top, just a nice amount so that we enjoy it, but don’t get sick of it or feel like it’s too much.
I think the thing I’m most excited about is just having my family here, enjoying them, and having them enjoy us. They’ll be meeting Olivia for the first time and I’m thrilled about that and watching them all fall in love with each other. That will be my biggest gift this year, getting to watch my family “catch up” to the place that Chris and I have been in our lives since we brought Olivia home in February.
When I first thought about spending Christmas in Haiti, I’ll admit, I was sad and feeling like it just wouldn’t be the same. The truth is, it won’t be the same. And now, I’m happy about that. I realized the other day that normally I would be excited about going home for Christmas, whether it was to Canada or the US, because for me home is where our roots are and where our family is. This year though, we aren’t going home, but we’ll be home for Christmas. Our home. The home that Chris and I and Olivia have established for ourselves. This will be our first Christmas since we’ve gotten married, that we’ve celebrated in our own home. Family will be coming to us. That leaves me feeling all sentimental and mushy inside. And, it makes me look forward to what’s to come over the next few weeks.