I haven't really kept it a secret that I love Christmas. I mean I've written about six posts relating to the holidays, posted about twenty photos of various holiday activities, and talked about it non-stop. My house looks like a giant bauble full of glitter has exploded all over it, I've been munching Christmas treats all day long, and the concierge at our building knows me, my apartment number and how many packages I got today when I just enter the reception area. And with about 700 apartments to look after I think that's saying something (no, contrary to popular opinion around here it does not mean I should stop buying things). But bit by bit I feel the "holiday anxiety" starting to creep up. You see, the truth is I don't like holidays that much. Ok I don't like holidays at all. They are too intense, to stressful, too full of people I rarely like, too... Too suffocating. For me, one of the main perks about living abroad with no family in sight was never having to go through another of those holidays again. Or so I thought. Because as the kids are getting older holidays are becoming much more important. Holidays, after all, are about forming traditions and connections. For many people this connection is with God, for some it's with their country, but for me it's about my boys. By choosing to raise my kids in a different culture, language, environment than I grew up in, I lost something that I couldn't fully appreciate up to that point - I lost the continuity thread that runs through the generations. They don't sing the same songs, read the same stories, or even learn the same history of the world as me. Their view of the world is different to mine and is build on different foundations. And that is exactly what I want for them, but it also makes finding that connection and traditions that much harder. It all depends on me. And I don't really like holidays.
I've adapted, as one does, and over the last four years we created our own traditions and I made my peace with the holidays. But then you have Christmas. And Christmas is not just any old holiday, it's The Holiday, and it comes hand in hand with a gigantic Christmas dinner, what feels like 1,000 presents, two weeks off school and work, and my parents. And the key to the success of what is starting to feel like Mission Impossible 7 is me. And I don't like holidays.
giant dog for Yon. Or maybe it was for me. It looks exactly like a real one and it's fur is so fluffy and cuddly. I need cuddly). He got into the habit when we were in Gibraltar, where everyone give out Christmas cards every year. I think it's a lovely tradition and he enjoys it and doesn't seem to mind that it's less common in our school here. And on top of everything this year we had Yon joining the party. Last year I wrote his cards, but this year I wasn't sure what to do. Should I let him write his own cards or not? I hate these dilemmas, I never know what the right answer is, and I have no basis for comparison. As a rule of thumb I try not to compare Yon to Ron, because I know Ron is not a good indication of what a child is expected to do, after all not all kids know how to write in two languages when they are three.
It always amazes me how much inspiration we can get from our children. How much better they are than us at dealing with difficulties (most of the times), and with Yon, how he doesn't let anything stop him doing exactly what he wants.
Because if Yon can do it, I can do it too.
I am linking it for the last time this year (!) to the wonderful Small Steps Amazing Achievements at Ethan's Escapade. Have a wonderful Christmas Jane :)
To the equally lovely Motivational Monday at Pinkoddy, who is always inspiring me to do better :)
To Victoria's wonderful #PoCoLo. Have a very merry Christmas!
And to Jaime's Magic Moments over at The Oliver's Madhouse. Merry Christmas :)