This year Christmas feels like it’s something happening somewhere else.
For the first time in my life, I’m not spending Christmas with my biological family in Miami. I’m not seeing my mom’s decorations, my sister’s Disney-themed tree, the lit homes, or the decor along the streets. There are no ads for Santa’s Enchanted Forest or Christmas music filling my ears everywhere I go. There will be no Noche Buena with lechón and egg nog. There will be no parties or parades.
I’m in Australia and today is just another day. Cubans, my family included, typically feast on Christmas Eve. Australians, like Americans, feast on Christmas Day though I don’t know what that looks like, but I’ll find out tomorrow. Recently I blogged that Aussies don’t really care all that much about the holidays. The Australian response was largely that this assertion is untrue. The American expat response was generally in agreement with my observations. I know it’s Christmas because everyone says it is and lots of businesses are closed and not because it’s obvious in sights and sounds. It’s one of the most difficult cultural differences to wrap my head around. My sister commented that it sounded kind of depressing; it is.
Expectations can be a terrible thing and it’s not always fair to hold others to your standards. It’s just hard to let go of the things you’ve known all your life and that have brought you comfort and joy.
Wherever you are this Christmas, home or away, with friends and family or alone, I hope you have a happy Christmas.
About the featured image: Unhappy Christmas by Michal Sekela, deviantART.