27 December 2008

Christmas with my family in Canada

i always find it hard to go through advent in one place and then celebrate Christmas in another. it's as if i can't carry over from one place to another the longing for Christ's coming. that movement of places makes it hard for me. but i have to smile a bit at myself: if i find this movement difficult, think of how hard it would have been for Mary and Joseph. 9 months pregnant, travelling to the home of their distant family, with a lot of the unknowns in their future - and they still celebrated a miracle.

and i have celebrated being with my family, even as i recognzed a twinge of sadness in not getting to be closer to be able to see everyone more often. and Christmas meant getting to read read some books to my niece, put together a cool kitchen set for the other niece, see a lot of my cousins and aunts and uncles, spend time talking to my siblings, see my sister pregnant, meet the dog of my other sister (although i learned the hard way that he responds really well to "poop" as a command eve if he isn't outside to do it), and spend a lot of time just hanging out with my mom. since my mom and i both look good in blue and the sweater was a great price (and we don't live in the same area), we got the same sweater when we went out shopping on friday. there's something lovely about sharing clothes :)

perhaps the best way to describe my feeling of Christmas is a celebration amidst a bit of sadness. in that way, Christmas is taking awhile to settle in for me this year. a bit of the advent longing still lingers, the wishing that it were different. but i take the memories of this time here with my family, the love i have for them - and they for me - and i will pull them out again in the days and months to come. i will ponder them in my heart, even as i already hold dear to my heart my other family who i missed out in sharing Christmas with in Amsterdam.

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