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this is my first year away from home and i'm kind of happy about it

Happy Holidays

By JaimiePublished about a year ago 3 min read
this is my first year away from home and i'm kind of happy about it
Photo by Arthur Brognoli on Unsplash

This is my first year away from home. The first year away from family, friends, and christmas stockings. Away from tinsel and baubles and flashing lights. Away from the Christmas spread with ham and gingerbread and trifle. No being crushed by too familiar hugs. No presents. I am so relieved.

Not just because I'm an adult now and wanting to create my own traditions, but also because I just wanted to get away and have a break over the busiest time of the year. I had thought of booking a holiday for me and my partner years ago, but then the world got sick and travel shut down. Then, this year we moved interstate.

I hit the ground running at work and dove into setting up the new house, establishing myself in our new town. Honestly, the last few months have flown past. We moved in March, and April, May and June are a blur in my memory. July I can vaguely remember. Then it wasn't until August that my family began to ask if I would come back for Christmas. It was the first time that I had thought about it and I felt myself deflate because, no, I had not planned on coming home for Christmas. I never wanted to be home for Christmas ever again.

Broken families know how to make Christmas a time to remember. The snide comments over the table about the other side of the family, the second dinner you stuff down because it would be rude not to eat both meals, and faking a smile while you read out cheesy jokes from the Christmas bon-bons. For years, I've been strung between my broken family and my partners' very-much-together-and-happy-about-it family. And, to be honest, I was getting sick of it.

But this year felt like an opportunity to do whatever I actually wanted to do. It's super boring. But all I really wanted to do was stay home and bake and watch shitty Hallmark movies while eating fistfuls of ham and bowls of trifle. My partner was just excited to have me at home for the day, and not being stressed. They're a homebody and hate the socialising that comes with thr holiday season.

I've found that if I tell people that I don't want to do anything for Christmas except treat it as a themed day off, they make vague references to Scrouge, tell me it's sad, and recommend different things I could do instead. I'm not Scrouge. I love the Christmas spirit and I enjoy singing Christmas carols and the giving of presents. But I don't believe in Santa, have no young cousins or children of my own to get excited for, and I've pretended my way through a good seven years of Christmases now. I'm tired.

So, after I had dodged the question of where I was spending Christmas for far too long, I decided to book my plane tickets home. For boxing day. It's the only way I could have that lazy Christmas day that my partner and I could enjoy together, and also not disappoint my family. I have a grocery list ready to go so that I can put on a spread, I'm making my own Christmas decorations, and I have both a playlist of carols and a Netflix list of movies. I've nevr been so excited for Christmas.

And because I will not be with my family for Christmas day, the plans are a lot more calm than in previous years. A sleepover with my cousin. A drinking binge with my brothers. Tea and biscuits with my grandma. Thankfully, everyone is choosing activities with me that reflect who they are and the stages of their lives as well.

What are you doing this Christmas?


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