11.25.2015

I Won't Be Home - When you can't be home for the holidays


They say the grass is always greener on the other side and at holidays, this may be the case. I know many are torn between which family members to visit or have to deal with family members who don't want to get together. Some are faced with long drives in treacherous weather or crazy airports. Some may not be looking forward to the bickering of family or have unresolved issues that always come up. Perhaps you are just on two different sides of the fence when it comes to political or religious views and feel you will never just get along. 

Call me crazy, but I want some of that right about now! I want to be home for Thanksgiving!

Yes, I will be at home. My home. With darling daughter, dear hubby, and if we are lucky, his younger son and perhaps the girlfriend will be with us too. That would makes things extra fun and I don't want what I say to diminish that one single bit but I want to be HOME with my mom, my sisters, my nieces and nephews, the craziness, the potential bickering, and the fun. 

This year, as in many other years, the Pacific Ocean feels bigger and my heart aches. I want to be home. To be more accurate, I want to go back in time and be home when my Dad was still alive. I loved our Thanksgivings and the table surrounded by family and friends. Who was there varied year to year. Sometimes extended family came. Sometimes a neighborhood family joined us. It was always fun. And I loved the turkey, baked sweet potatoes (no marshmallows on top please....yuck!), and olives. Oh how I LOVED, and still love, olives.

It was also "THE DAY!". The day we pulled out the Christmas tree and put it together limb by limb with my Dad. The painted colors on the tips and holes faded over time but he was always able to help us out if we got stuck and had it memorized what order the colors went in from bottom to top. I remember the years my younger sister was small enough, and crazy enough, to want to play in the boxes as we put the tree together and my Mom always had a vision for us whether it be multi-colored or a single-color theme. We snacked, we decorated, and we untangled lights for indoors and out.

Going through strands was a pleasant chore and I am sure many of you remember lights being partially out and searching for the culprit bulb to replace to make everything all good again. That was a reason to celebrate and if you fixed a strand, you were a hero! At least for a moment. 

Me and my sisters.....
Yes, we bickered. I came from a family of five with three girls. We bickered. Sometimes Mom or Dad had to step in to put an end to it all but in many cases, we moved on. It was a lesson in resiliency. A little argument didn't mean we didn't love eachother. Different viewpoints were okay. We moved on. No harm done. I don't ever remember any crazy drama with anyone storming off in fits or running out of the house in despair. We may have sulked in the corner but eventually the sulker's heart would melt and the fun would draw them back into the family like a warm embrace. As a mom now, I look back and think, wow, we truly learned some life coping skills during the holidays.

Fast forward to today and things are different. Very seldom is our house full as the extended family is on the mainland or in dear hubby's case, another country. We have spent holidays with friends who are like family and it is nice but I still crave establishing an "our tradition" that will leave darling daughter warm and fuzzy years to come. Will decorating the tree, planning the menu, and setting up the "feast" with me be enough? Dear hubby has been absent from decorating as it isn't his cup of tea and why force it? Okay, I would LOVE for him to be part of it but am happy to decorate in November versus a couple of week's before Christmas like his family did. Decorating is hard work, fun, but hard work so with all that effort, I want to enjoy it! Plus, seeing the Christmas lights on the tree twinkle calms me and makes me happy.

But I still miss my family and can get teary eyed in a moment's notice and love how it can make darling daughter chuckle. As we finished printing out our menu, a new fun addition this year, I announced we will use the good plates. She eagerly asked, "You mean the fine china?!" Yep, we are pulling out the dishes that came from my younger sister. She agreed this was a great idea because why have them way up high on the shelf if you are never going to use them. Smart girl and I am glad she is learning a bit from me. Then I added we could use the turkey salt and pepper shakers that were Grandma's and could barely get the words out before tearing up and crying. She had to confirm what I said, looked at me like I was a bit crazy, and smiled at me. I told her I was just happy because now they WILL be with us at Thanksgiving....through their plates and shakers. Now if only I could find something to represent my older sister.....

Daily Gratitude: I am thankful that we are able to prepare a wonderful Thanksgiving meal through the blessings from God.

Daily Bible Verse: And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. ~ Colossians 3:17

1 comment:

  1. Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours, Erica! It is hard being away from family.

    I love that you love olives! My grandfather grew them and they were the best! No big family meal is complete without a veggie tray with olives!

    ReplyDelete

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