This will be the first Christmas that I’ve ever spent away from home. The year before we made the trek from Sint Marteen’s to British Columbia braving an overnight layover, two flights, and delays from a snow storm with our then 3-month-old puppy Bear.
Since we won’t be able to celebrate Christmas back home this year, I’m in the mood to create new traditions. Traditions that we can carry with us when there are times when we won’t be able to be home with family, because this Medical School journey has taught me to expect the unexpected. You just never know where you’ll end up, or how far away from home you’ll be. & every new and starting off family needs to make traditions to pass along the way.
This is also the first year when I had the opportunity to decorate our place, taking inspiration from the row houses in the neighbourhood who creatively decorate their “main window” with lights. One of my neighbours even decked out their “reception room” which I may have peaked in at since they also have the most brilliant lights on the entire block, so it’s hard not to look. And while I wish we could have had a tree I know there would be no point as we wouldn’t be able to keep it for the next year as we won’t be in the U.K, and I couldn’t justify on spending so frivolously on something that can’t make the move with us. So instead of a tree and with some English inspiration I hung up a cheap string of lights onto our window, hanging off small gold ribbon, bows, and bulbs to compliment the lights warm and mesmerizing glow. While on our mantle (sans a real fireplace) I put out candles, deer decorations, and a miniature living fir tree I intend to plant before we leave.
Our family back home has also been sending us cards and little gifts, my own parents sent us stockings with each of our names embroidered on them, including a bone shaped stocking for Bear. When the stocking arrived Bear sniffed at them curiously, and now continues to nose around them looking for the treats that I may have mischievously hid in them for him to find. I love that these stockings are something I can keep forever, and they are so easy to pack away- meaning they can travel with us easily. And, of course I’m thankful for having things sent from back home, it makes me feel less far away from our family, who I wish could be with us.
And while I try to come up with a unique tradition, perhaps that tradition will be to always include something in my decorating for the holidays inspired by all the places we’ve been too together, in addition to hanging up our stockings, and filling Bear’s with dog treats and toys. What is Christmas without the memories after-all?
M & Bear