So it’s three fifteen on December 24th and it doesn’t remotely feel like Christmas. It’s really surreal. There are Christmas trees everywhere, Christmas music being played from cars, shops, homes, Christmas lights decorating houses at night, but even with all of that, it still doesn’t feel like Christmas at all.
This is the first year I’ve been away from my family for Christmas, and while I didn’t think it would affect me, it sure has. I had just thought that now I’m getting older, Christmas was just another day. I mean don’t get me wrong, I love the routine, the family gatherings and the chrismas dinner, but I didn’t realise just how much I would miss it until now.
Since leaving home I haven’t felt homesick, don’t think I’ve had the chance to, and that being said, I still wouldn’t choose to go home now even if I could. I mean, I would love to go home for the day, spend Christmas with my family and jump back on a plane again, but I wouldn’t want to be home for any longer than that.
I have loved being away from everything at home, all my worries and problems from before have disappeared. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not always been easy going out here either, I still have problems and worries, but they’re completely different. Since being out here I’ve gained more trust with myself, everything seems to work out eventually, you’ve just got to persevere with the bad times and the good will follow.
Right now, although people are celebrating Christmas around me I can’t help but feel like it isn’t Christmas. But what I’m dreading most is going on FaceTime to my family tomorrow as that is when it will hit me that Christmas really is happening and it’s happening without me. While being away, although you know life still goes on at home, you forget all about it, it’s only when you’re exposed to it that all the feelings come. I can’t help but dread Christmas. Rachel and her family make me feel so welcome here, I’ve loved spending time with the girls as they remind me of my sisters. It’s lovely being able to spend time with them both and talk to them the way I would be with my sisters if I were at home right now, they’ve given me a sense of home and family, something I have lived without for longer than I’d realised.
Spending Christmas Day on the beach with Chantelle’s family will be fun I’m sure but I can’t help but think about my family and how much I’d want to be with them. I really do appreciate all they have done for me, and for including me in their day, it does feel great being in a family environment over Christmas but it also reminds you of what you don’t have. Without reason, you feel excluded, maybe that’s because I’ve never experienced their Christmas before, that everyone gets stuck in their traditions but Christmas is definitely a time to be surrounded by family.
On top of this, my heart goes out to Alex. I hate being away from my family for Christmas but cannot begin to understand what he is going through not only being away from family, but also on his own. I’d do anything to spend Christmas with him, or find a way for him to celebrate the day with someone. No one should be alone at christmas, especially when there are a number of people who would give anything I spend the day with you. If I could jump on a flight to Auckland today to spend Christnas with him I would. Not just because I don’t want him to be alone for Christmas but because I’d give anything to spend Christmas with him. Being here in Adelaide has not just made me miss my family but also him. Talking to him each day has helped incredibly, it’s just horrible to think we will both be lonely this Christmas.
I know this is just one Christmas out of many, but it’s one Christmas I will never get back. It’s a day I’d give anything to spend with the ones I love, a day to remember.
I guess the good old saying is correct, you don’t appreciate what you’ve got until it’s gone.