Longing to be home.
Wishing for snow and non-stop Christmas music on the radio.
Wanting to hug my parents and clink glasses with old friends.
Missing our old family decorations that I foolishly forgot to include in our shipment when we moved here.
Yearning for pink cheeks, and snow crunching under my boots, and recognizing just about everyone at midnight mass on Christmas Eve. Hugs and smiles everywhere.
Dying for that contented bundled-up-by-the-fireplace-with-a-blanket-and-a-good-book kind of feeling.
You get my drift.
So boo hoo hoo. I was away from home over the holidays and started feeling a little sorry for myself.
I trudged through the malls (that were void of any holiday cheer and decoration), never finding quite what I was looking for, growling about the driving, the line ups and the complete lack of holiday spirit.
This lasted a few long days (long and painful days, if you ask C).
Then I stopped my silliness. I gave myself a very strong figurative kick in the a**, and told myself to smarten up.
I am here in this place by choice. I live a very blessed life. One that allows me to stay home every day with my daughter. One that brings sunshine through my window every single morning when I wake up. One that has given us a very special and eclectic group of friends from all over the world. This IS our home. What matters most is that we do what we can here to make our holiday special.
So I got out a pen and paper and I made a list. What would make us feel better about being here over the holidays? The bigger picture.
This is what I came up with:
- Every day, do one thing to make a difference to someone else.
And that is what we did. No huge 'change the world' gestures, but several small, really nice ones. And boy, did it feel good.
What Christmas should feel like on the inside. 'Tis the Season, after all.
It took us all of five minutes to hand out the meals. We even got a few mumbles of "Thank you, Merry Christmas". Just a small treat on what is probably a long day for them, but I swear even Ella was smiling as we drove away. We were really getting in to the spirit of things now.
|C, loving on some puppies from QAWS|
Our last planned make-a-difference-this-Christmas activity came yesterday. This one holds a special place in my heart.
We arrived at a local animal shelter, which basically consisted of some makeshift kennel trailers strung together on a large piece of farm land on the outskirts of town, headed up by some volunteers with super huge hearts and heaps of dedication. They have over 100 animals they have to feed, walk, and care for every day.
We spent the afternoon walking different dogs and puppies out around the farm land. Talk about rewarding. We stayed till the sun went down. Ella cried half way home asking to "go walk more puppies". C wants to go back too. We may make it a regular family activity in 2012.
All in all, a really great Christmas.
No huge resolutions for me this new year... just going to try and stay focused on what matters most. It was nice to be reminded that the easiest way to make yourself happy is to do something nice for someone else. I highly recommend it - it worked like a charm for us.
Happy 2012, everyone!