December has always been magic to me, and is one of my favorite times of the year.
But being overseas, it’s different.
Yes, it’s getting cold. A different cold than back home, but still. Yes, many coffee shops and restaurants have Christmas trees set up, especially those located in expat or tourist areas of Kathmandu.
But there’s so much that is missing. From snow, to Christmas music playing from every store. And memories pop up on facebook, reminding me about how I was traveling home a year ago, 3 years ago, 4 years ago.
But not this year.
I chose to stay in Nepal, to spend another holiday halfway around the world. It didn’t seem to make sense to spend days traveling just to have a fraction of that time with my family.
And even though I won’t physically be home this Christmas, my heart is. And I am remembering Christmases from my childhood. School concerts, Christmas parties and secret santas.
Setting up the lights with my dad on what always seemed to be the first really cold day of winter.
Decorating the tree while listening to Christmas carols or watching a Christmas movie and having at least one ridiculous argument for no reason.
The smell of Christmas dinner being prepared, and there being way too many people (and pets) in one house.
And that feeling of going home. From arriving at the airport, to walking through the door and having my parents dog greet me, barking indignantly, seeming to ask “How could you have been away for so long?!”
On Christmas day, I will be lighting my pine scented candle and opening the card my parents sent me. And thinking about how next year, maybe next year, I’ll be back on the prairies, sitting around a real pine tree, with my family, watching the snow fall.