It has been a while… I can’t believe my last post was in April! A lot of things happened in the meantime, but I am not ready to do a review of my year just yet.
I guess the reason why I’m writing again is because I feel lonely. It’s that time of the year again: Christmas! You know what? I was never a Christmas person! Never really cared about the jolly season or even believed in Santa. In fact, I have no memory of when I realized the whole Santa Claus bullshit.
I only enjoyed Christmas when I was a child. My whole family used to travel to the South of Brazil and we would all stay over at my grandparent’s house. It was a lot of people! We used to have a huge Christmas dinner table and all grandchildren would help grandma with something. I usually prepared the fruit basket!
In Brazil we celebrate Christmas on the 24th and at midnight we exchange presents. My grandad was the one in charge of getting the presents from below the Christmas tree and give them to all of us. These memories will stay with me forever! The living room was loud, crowded, hot (December is summer time in Brazil) but it was just perfect! Having the whole family together was all that matters. My parents, sisters and I used to live more than 2 thousand kilometers away from my grandparents and grandaunts. My aunt and cousins were even farther… They were in the United States. So Christmas was the time for the family to get reunited after a whole year without seeing each other.
Christmas suddenly stopped making sense in 1999 when my grandad passed away. His death in middle November took us all by surprise and the Christmas of 99 was nothing but sad! After that everything changed. My grandma moved to another city, my sisters and I were in college – in States far away from my parents – and Christmas meant time to go home and be with my mom and dad. We didn’t get the whole family together anymore and Christmas just became a normal summer day to me. I couldn’t care less to be honest.
But since 2007, when I moved to Ireland, Christmas started to have a different meaning again. Christmas actually started to pressure me! Even though I am not a Christmas person, this time of the year reminds me that I should be with my family. It reminds me that I am alone here! Yes, in the past 7 years I made wonderful friends, had few Irish boyfriends (and I still have) and never spent a Christmas day by myself. But despite all that, I still feel alone… I feel out of place!
For the past years I have spent Christmas with someone else’s family and had the pleasure to know and experience what an Irish Christmas is all about! I have been welcome and loved during this date by people who took me as part of their own family. This is really nice!
But even though everybody has a great heart I know that I was still not supposed to be there. I was supposed to be with my own family! I always felt sorry for my Irish boyfriends during this time because they do get the pressure that they need to bring me alone. Not because they don’t want to but because they know my family is not here. It feels like they had no option but the truth is that who has the option and made the choice to stay here during Christmas was me!
I think I will only stop feeling alone during this time of the year when I have my own family! Sometimes I think about cooking a Christmas dinner for the very first time in my own house for my husband and kid(s?)… while the dog is patiently waiting for us beside the dinner table. All of us being together by the fire and just appreciating each others company! Yeah… that looks like a nice picture and something I want for my life.
Maybe one day this wish will come true or maybe not. That’s ok too. But until then I have to accept that life is about choices and I need to stand by the ones I make. I need to stop feeling sad and realize again that after all, Christmas is now just another winter day!