Christmas sans family is the most wonderful time of the year. Last Christmas, I uttered those words for the first time in my 13 years as an expat.
Every Christmas holiday would usually start the same excruciating way. Around December 23rd, my husband and I would make a mad dash to the airport with our suitcases full of clothes for whatever shite weather we might encounter. If we were visiting my parentals, there was a good chance an apocalyptic ice storm would hit Canada and we would be under house arrest for two weeks straight. If we were really lucky, it might only rain in Wales but it would rain every damn day and come at you sideways. Yes, I said sideways. Really Mother Nature? Why do you have to be such a biatch?
I know Christmas is supposed to be all about family but I’m not a monster (at least in the UK) for not wanting to spend it with mine. According to a recent poll, one in five participants go on holiday during the festive season to escape all the Christmas family ‘fun’.
What I found most interesting about the study was the amount of people who were paying big bucks to vacation in places like Spain for the holidays. Umm hello, I live in Spain. Maybe, just maybe, someone can drop some $$$ to come and visit me in December. There’s a lot of sun and cheap wine. Who doesn’t want that? Is everybody in my family taking crazy pills or something?
It’s a Christmas Miracle
Well, I guess baby Jesus must have heard my prayers (screams and cuss words) from the previous family visits and said to himself, “Enough is enough, let’s give these poor fools a break.” Miraculously, last Christmas I was struck down with a severe allergic reaction to histamine, whatever the f*ck that means, and me and the hubs had to cancel Christmas in Canada. I was finally able to enjoy my friggin’ Christmas tree. MINE. It took exorcist style vomiting, blacking out two times and spending the night in emergency to make it happen but it happened.
I enjoyed opening big-ass presents that didn’t have to fit into my luggage, eating in my PJ’s and watching a Marvel movie marathon in the comfort of my own home. Then, wait for it, I had a vacation within a vacation and rented a beach house in Galicia for a week. I was still sickly from the ‘histamine episode’, and spent a few good hours in the bathroom, but I had a view of a secluded mind-blowing beach from the toilet. That’s just crazy.
All I’m saying is, don’t feel guilty if you wanna spend one Christmas (or five) at YOUR home. Even if your mom or father-in-law tries to guilt you with their favorite whine, “Why aren’t you coming home for the holidays?” When you hear that, just think of good things like: the crazy expensive flights you won’t be taking, no Mike Tyson size family fisticuffs and just not having to do a damn thing if you don’t want to.
If I can’t convince you to stay home for the holidays, or you’re screwed because the tickets are already booked, I recommend listening to one of my favorite Christmas songs. Whenever you start losing your sh!t this Christmas, put on your headphones and blast “Last Christmas” by Wham. It’s the perfect song to help drown out your drunk mother-in-law’s passive aggressive comments or your own thoughts of murder.
Merry Christmas and happy holidays everybody!
My Expatations: I can’t enjoy Christmas without visiting ma & pa.