This is my first Christmas away from Michigan, and away from family and friends… ever.
To be honest I was excited about experiencing something new at Christmas time. I was thinking about how awesome it would be to be in a tropical zone when Christmas came and I didn’t have to experience the cold, wet snow falling to the ground, or slipping under my car tires.
But, as the day draws closer and closer, I find myself singing the old song, “I’m dreaming of a white Christmas”. Now, I’d really have to be dreaming to think that it would actually snow here. But growing up where I did, even though I hate the snow, I still always wanted snow to fall on Christmas day. It was, for me, a part of life and a part of our family Christmas. It was the storybook Christmas we always wanted. Of course, come December 26th, I wanted warm weather and no snow.
Because of the beautiful weather, it has been difficult for me to get into the spirit of the season. The churches are decorated, the town plaza is lit like it was daytime, even though it is night. Carolers come to my gate three or four times each night, and yet, I am not in the spirit of the season. The gifts are bought, the malls are packed, and the tree is up and decorated. And yet, I don’t feel as though Christmas is just four days away.
So, what is different this year that is making it so difficult? The weather, for sure. Maybe the fact that I would have had at least once by this time, Christmas cookies? Is it the fact that I have not seen any friends or family in nine months? Is it the simple change of scenery? We did just move into a new house, so maybe that is it. We have been busy, after all, getting it cleaned and organized.
To be honest, it could just be my attitude lately. I’ve been missing my friends and family more and more, and find myself looking through digital photos on my computer. Adjusting to life here has been easy in many ways, but the difficult adjustments have been the ones that mean so much to me. Family and friends.
Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed meeting and getting to know more of my family on my wife’s side, but MY family… my blood. It is difficult being away from them, especially at this time of year. It is something I thought would happen, and tried to prepare myself for it… but it is easier said than done. Until such time as I am able to return to visit with them, I will have to accept phone conversations with them as my visitation time. I have prepared myself for Christmas by purchasing a number of calling cards to make the calls to those I miss to wish them a Merry Christmas.
I wrote this article today because I think it is important for people to see and read for themselves the complete story of those adjusting to life in the Philippines. It is a great place to live, but there will always be things, and especially people, that you will miss from home.
Until next time, paalam, ingat, and God bless.