So, it’s Christmas Eve, and tomorrow will be my first Christmas in London – winter, turkey, and on the opposite pole to my family.
Two months ago was pretty tough for me, the realisation that I would be spending such a family-orientated holiday alone hit me to the core. I got immensely sad, and convinced myself it would be a horrible day that I couldn’t wait to get over with.
I talked this over with a lot of people who asked me why I looked so down. I vented about how homesickness has this way of intruding my deepest thoughts when it creeps up on a family holiday or birthday. I realised the truth about Christmas and that is it is just a day. A day of food, yes family, but it is just a day. Of course I would prefer to have a holiday with cousins, family, BBQs and Tui beer, but hey! I’m in London for 5 years, there’s plenty of time to go home for Christmas in the years after that. The past month has been full of Christmas festivities; decorating the pub I work for, Christmas sweaters and celebrations with my friends and the family I now work for as an Au Pair. My life in London is such a contrast to everything I used to know, but I do feel so comfortable with the English way of Christmas – this is a year of adventure and new experiences, this is just another.
I’ve convinced myself that Christmas alone is not a bad thing because even though you feel alone, if you open your eyes you’ll find yourself surrounded. Whether it be surrounded by memories, the sound of your favourite song as you dance alone, a table full of food, people you love, or a new place or culture which makes you excited to be able and alive. You’re never alone if you choose not to be.
Today, for documentation sakes, has been a productive day. For my first complete day off in months, I wanted to fully clean my space, my clothes, everything, because a clean space really does put a smile on my face. I feel like I have achieved a nice Christmas Eve. At the moment the house is to myself, music is playing, and I can finally feel at peace (at least for the minute). I’ve done all of this sipping on a bottle of New Zealand cider, window openly inviting fresh air, and my favourite tracks bouncing off my bedroom walls. And in a few hours, I will be Skyping my family back home because in Kiwi land it is indeed Christmas day. I feel calm, I find contentment in these things because these things make me happy. Today I have opted for a New Zealand inspired Christmas Eve alone, tomorrow bring on the turkey.