Over the last 6 and a half years I’ve slowly begun that process of not necessarily being at home for holidays. It was the 4th of July, and then Easter, an odd New Year’s away, then Thanksgiving, and this year it will be Christmas. This isn’t because I don’t love my family–I do. I even enjoy spending time with them and genuinely like their company. Admittedly there’s a two to three week limit on this, but I think that’s pretty good.
No, I’ve missed holidays at home because of realities in my life–realities of money and time. Practical realities. And this is something that is only going to happen more often. My life, the one I chose, includes a fairly demanding schedule and certain inflexible areas which often fall around holidays.
And I’m okay with that. Partly because I knew this when I made my choice. But also because my family is not one of those families which has a dozen Christmas traditions. I wish that was different. Which is also why this is strange. I know I would make the same choice and I would still not be going home for Christmas this year. And I know that this would make being away from home more difficult. But it would also give me something of Christmastime at Home to create here. It would help me feel connected to my family, even over hundreds of miles and really practical realities.
And all of that makes me a little sad. Because I will miss my family. Because of the story of why we don’t have many Christmas traditions. Because I don’t know where we will all be next year or what we will be doing.
I don’t see an easy solution to this. For a lot of practical reasons neither my family nor I are ever likely to find it easy to travel for Holidays.
Which is, well, not fine, but part of life and something we’ll work through.
Right now, though, I wonder what traditions I want to start building for my own life and if and how or when I could invite my family into those traditions.