I’m on a train home (to Seattle) from Ontario after a Christmas where my Dad had all his kids and grandkids together — for the first time in 25 years. There were 4 other family reunions, each unique, to take advantage of that fact. It was a whirlwind.
I basically did the opposite of my husband, who had the peaceful, a-materialistic non-Christmas we usually enjoy together.
I conscience sacrificing future generations’ comfort for my own, this Christmas.
My Dutch sister was double-crossing the Atlantic anyway, and I’m overjoyed to have met her kids. I savored my brother and his family, as well as my Dad & stepmom, who visibly revel in grandparenthood.
Obviously, my favorite moments were the moving, meaningful ones — regardless of the emotions shared. I’m glad the poo-ha left room for what I wanted most for Christmas: simple celebrations of our interconnectedness.
I just want to put it out there that “Home for Christmas” can mean something other than your parents’ or your own house. To me, it also means a whole village around each of us — a constellation of care.
Three weeks ago, on that first train out of Seattle heading all the way East, what I missed viscerally was my neighborhood — the place in the world where I practice belonging most.
(Hand-written en route on January 4th)