My Christmas Away From Home
In September 2013 as a family we took a decision that I should go to the United Kingdom and see if we could make a life there, so I set off for the test run on the 27th of September. Apart from being away from my eldest son a few weeks once, the most I had been separated from my sons at any other time was one week. So this was my Christmas away from home.
Initially, the thought of being in the UK for Christmas brought on feelings of excitement and longing. I had always wanted to experience a “white Christmas” so that was one thing I looked forward to, but, I was in Liverpool and was told they couldn’t remember having a white Christmas any year.
After I had been in the UK for about one month, homesickness set in, or I should rather say, I started missing my kids and hubby and wishing they were with me. Honestly I was not missing “home” in the actual sense of the word. When we entered the month of November, the missing became worse as I thought of all I would have been doing in preparation for the season.
I then took a decision and these are a few of the things I did in the list below:
The greatest reprieve was every time I called or skyped. We did my eldest son’s homework on skype. Yes! I was helping him with his home work while I was in the UK. It helped me keep in touch and abreast of what was happening while I was away.
As it usually a tradition in my home to set up the tree and decorate on my grandmother’s birthday, 28th November, I decided to stick to it. Samira and I then hit the mall for Christmas decorations as she hardly had any in the house. I must say I thoroughly enjoyed the shopping and the variety opened to us.
The next day, with the “help” of Samira’s two year old son I got to decorating. It was a different experience as there was no tree and things I had never seen or used before, but it was fun. Even doing this though there was the little bit of nostalgia.
I took it open myself to bake as I would at home, so I soaked the fruits for the fruit cake on the 5th of December and got to planning Christmas Day and Boxing Day menu. After returning from a volunteer job on the morning of the 20th, I got to baking the fruit cake and also an orange sponge cake. Voila! It was perfect (if I say so myself).
It turned out that it was only Christmas Day I cooked as I worked on Boxing Day. I experimented on some new things and we invited a few friends over and had a good time.
Saving grace! The church I belonged to, gave the homeless breakfast three days a week and I volunteered whenever I was not working and it was actually fulfilling affording me the opportunity of seeing my being there as part of a big picture designed for me.
I had a few volunteer jobs that kept my mind off my husband and kids especially. It was demanding and needed my full attention whenever I was on duty so I hardly ever thought of family. The few times I would think of my family I would miss them terribly.
Though I missed them, all these helped me and could help you too.