I’ll Be Home For Christmas, If Only In My Dreams

Christmas is an extremely important holiday to me. The spirit of Christmas/the holiday season is something that is so undeniably cheerful, you can’t help but- be cheerful. You can shake your belly like a bowl full of jelly (which you have lingering from Thanksgiving and all the Christmas cookies that you’ve been eating), sing Christmas songs loudly in public and not only is it generally accepted, but it’s PART of Christmas, and the food… oh the food. And the decorations. And the music. And the snow. And the- I could go on and on.

Traditions mean a great deal to me too. There are so many traditions that start at a young age but many eventually grow out of or others (myself in particular) that we become too lazy to keep up with.  But Christmas traditions are the one thing that I count on.  The traditions, the spirit, and the general merriment of it all are what I look forward to each year.

Christmas season starts as soon as Thanksgiving dinner is over. As soon as I arrive home from Thanksgiving celebrations, I take a deep breath- readying myself to start eating leftovers, even though I’m still explodingly full from just having finished 4 helpings of food plus 2 helpings of dessert (this is not an exaggeration; that is how many servings I average on Thanksgiving). For those who’ve never met me, I’m not a big food sharer. I hate splitting dessert, I don’t usually offer to let anyone try any part of my meal and don’t even THINK about asking to share one.  But, when you’re one in a family of five and Thanksgiving leftovers are technically fair game for anyone, there is only one surefire way to secure them for yourself. Eat them before anyone else can get to them.

I eat the leftovers in pure bliss and watch the Polar Express. The next morning I wake up at the crack of dawn to eat more leftovers before people wake up and head out to Black Friday shopping with my mom and grandma.

I have ideas in my head of things I want to get everyone, but I usually only end up finding things for myself. Meh. I’ll get everyone’s gift on cyber Monday.  Because of the early start, we’re done in time to drop of grandma and scoop my dad to hit the tree farm before the crowds arrive.

Chopping down our own Christmas tree is one of my favorite parts of Christmas. William’s Tree farm is my heaven on Earth.

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We’re Douglas fir people, but are flexible depending on what else we see on the way to the Douglas Fir section.

We never settle on anything less than the perfect tree, but usually the amount of time we spending looking is directly correlated to the temperature outside.

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The 2012 winner

My dad does about 96% of the work involved- sawing and dragging the tree until we find someone to tractor it in for us.

While we wait for the tree to be shaken of the dead needles and wrapped up for transportation home we get hot chocolate and sit by the fire.  My mom shops for the homemade wreathes while I browse longingly at the homemade fudge image8

and the gift shop, which is like a scene directly out of the North Pole.

The next day is spent making over 6 dozen cookies of all kinds. My go-to’s are peanut butter blossoms, Christmas cake batter cookies, thumbprints, mint Oreo balls (not pictured), and of course, sugar cookies (also not pictured). I spend the entire day baking and cleaning and eating and decorating while listening to Christmas music. 

And then- it’s just- Christmas season. Shopping and decorating and watching the classic Christmas movies. The endless holiday parties for work, with family and with friends that significantly help contribute to holiday weight gain.

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This is when winter is still mildly enjoyable. Snowmen, hot chocolate with Baileys or Schnapps and snuggling in a blanket, snow angels, and super cute winter gear.

I have only missed Christmas once before.  I was living in Italy and didn’t have enough money to come back to the States. While I had an amazing time abroad spending it with my Italian family and one of my best friends, it was still not the same as being back home.  I won’t bore you all with all of the actual Christmas celebrations- but they’re all pretty irreplaceable. And after missing that one, I swore I’d never do it again.

Yet, here I am; not only about to miss Christmas again, but in a country that doesn’t even technically recognize it as a holiday.  It is upwards of 90 degrees every day, there are no Christmas decorations and I will even be going to work.  To be honest, this post is mostly so I can just talk about Christmas. Get all the feels out and take myself back home for a bit.  But—  I am really excited to share my next post about whatever happens to me on Christmas here in Thailand. I knew what I was signing up for when I came.  I’m here for the cultural experience, even if that means having to put mine second. I guess I just wanted to make sure I wouldn’t forget anything.  Merry Christmas everyone, wherever you are in the world- and whatever holiday you happen to call your own!