My family is hardly religious, but Christmas has always been a special time for us. Maybe because we didn’t have a lot of money when my brother & I were growing up, so Christmas was the one time of year when Mum & Dad would scrimp and save to get us something that we really wanted. Maybe because for a few moments you could really believe that you might be hearing reindeer on the roof. Maybe because of good food, and laughter, and an overabundance of chocolate. But mostly I think, because of my family.
We have lots of little Christmas rituals, like the way we will always sit through another viewing of Home Alone, or our favourite terrible Tim Allen Christmas movies together. Or the way that I always get given tins of chocolate wafers. Rituals like sitting down to a Christmas lunch & knowing we’ll be eating the leftovers for the next week. Or throwing sarcastic jokes at each other across the dining room table, with an undercurrent of love. The little rituals like using the same Christmas decorations that my brother & I made in preschool, or driving through town to look at the Christmas lights, or stocking up on far too many of everyone’s favourite snacks.
As you grow older it’s easier to feel more alone. To feel like things are always really hard, and nothing stays the same for long. It’s easier to feel small, and unimportant. The best thing about my family Christmas is the reminder that no matter how far apart we get, or how many years go by, there are people who love you, and support you, and always make you feel safe. People always say you can’t go home again, but I can. Where ever we happen to be, every year at Christmas time I see my family and I come home.