I Forgot I Wanted Christmas…
I think I forgot how much I actually wanted Christmas. No, not the gifts or the Christmas carols. And definitely not the snow… just Christmas. I know what the holiday is about. I was raised in a church and I get the religious reasons for Christmas, but we would be fooling ourselves if we said that was all Christmas is about anymore. Maybe it shouldn’t be this way… but it is.
What I’m realizing I want is the big Christmas tree, with the pretty and special ornaments. The sparkling lights, the candles, the wreaths. I want the stockings all lined up across my parent’s mantle. The houses lit up throughout the neighborhoods. Time with all of my crazy, ridiculous, obnoxiously loud but beautiful family members I rarely see. Keep the presents, I just want these things.
To understand you kinda gotta know my mom is a wonder woman. Seriously. As a child, we always went to my Grandma Jo’s house for Christmas. EVERYONE. All 5 of her kids, whatever kids they had at the moment. Whatever girlfriends, boyfriends, neighbors, friends, co-workers you name it that wanted to join… could and did. My Grandma passed away when I was 7 years old and without missing a step, my mom (& dad) inherited 2 dogs and Christmas. If you ask me, my mom was born to host Christmas. Yes, I’m sure she stresses herself out beyond belief, but if you could see the house after she decorates, or taste her cooking, or see the mantle with EVERY SINGLE PERSON’S stocking lined up across, then you would get it. She makes it so special. And so now, 20 years after taking over Christmas, the “Prizzi Christmas” is a full on circus of family, babies, friends, cursing, laughing, drinking, eating and an abundance of sassy love.
Why am I so bothered about it this year? Because this year, we are not going “home” for the holidays. Instead we’re staying in our home of Costa Rica, basking in the sun, drinking margaritas and enjoying Christmas with fellow traveling friends, family and Lazy Mon staff. And please, don’t pity me… it will be amazing. I know this because I’ve done it one other time. The year Abasi and I trekked to Costa Rica, we stayed for Christmas instead of going back to the States. But we were high on the excitement of a new adventure then… and childless. Now that we have a family, it hurts not to spend the holidays with our EXTENDED FAMILY. And I know it hurts them too, which always deepens the pain.
I don’t know if it’s more of a subconscious desire to have the Christmas I’ve known for 27 years or if it’s a “you want what you can’t have” type of thing. All I know is I’ve found myself in a manic-esque craze the past week, pulling every DIY Christmas project from my arsenal. My top Google searches are “DIY Christmas Wreaths”, “Salt Dough Ornaments”, “Homemade Christmas Decorations.” I am craving to create Christmas in the Caribbean. I want to see it. I want Kennedy to see it. I feel like I need it to breathe right now.
And so, here I am, spray painting pickle jars to turn into snowmen candle holders, buying cheap plastic garland to spruce things up, pulling every Santa hat I own out of hiding and making Salt Dough ornaments for a tree I have yet to find. In the end it will look “nice”, yet I still find myself yearning for the traditional Christmas I’ve known for 27 years but never knew I NEEDED.
This will be hard. Not just for me, but for my parents and I hate that. Aside from not having me, Kennedy or Abasi home for the holidays, they also won’t have my brother for the first time, who is here in Costa Rica with us right now. But that is a silver lining… we do have some family here. Like I’ve said before, Abasi’s brother Khalil with his wife (and my sister I never had) Niki live here in Puerto Viejo too. And they have their son Kai, so for the first time Kennedy and Kai will actually spend Christmas together. And my brother will be here, celebrating with us too. It’s our little satellite family, and I thank God for it.
So I guess that’s the way life works right? Circumstances force you to make decisions that you can either feel sorry about or make something of. While I am sad, I choose to make something of it. I will DIY the hell outta this house. I WILL find a freaking tree. I WILL put some Christmas magic into my tiny little Caribbean house. And I’ll do it because my Mom did it for us and because I clearly loved it more than I ever acknowledged. I have attachments to Christmas, that once deprived of, I never knew existed. And do you want to know something pathetic? I don’t think I have ever once thanked my Mom for putting together the amazing Christmas she does year after year.
So to you Mom, who I know is reading because you always do: THANK YOU! Thank you for running around, stressing yourself out, cooking for more than 30 people every year, decorating the house, lining up our stockings and making everyone feel so welcomed. But more than anything, thank you for creating a tradition in a loving home. Time after time, you knock it outta the park!
To all of you, Happy December 1st! 24 days to go, enjoy your holidays with your family and friends no matter where you are and cherish the traditions you have with your loved ones. Does anyone out there have a crazy, fun or sentimental tradition you want to share? I would love to hear it!
Don’t Forget To Smile, Krysta