Monday, 26 December 2011

Christmas Blues and Blessings

This was the first Christmas I didn't spend with family, either the boy penguin or mine.  I wasn't looking forward to it, I'm a people person I love the hustle and bustle of bodies and the chaos of trying to get everyone organised at a table that sits 6 but set for a dozen :)

We first decided to spend Christmas here in the Desert after a last minute trip to London early last month.  My sisters and little nephew were due to stay with us for a month on our return and after the last 6 months of constant travelling, visitors and event after event, it seemed the only sane thing to do.  Of course as Christmas day drew ever closer and the time for my family to return back to the islands became more imminent, the once "sane" decision became the bane of boy penguins existence.  I am very ashamed to admit that there were quite a number of hurled accusations of not being "family orientated enough" and him being a stuck in the mud and not adventurous enough to just jump on the next plane bound for London to spend Christmas with at least one side of the family.

I put my younger sisters and nephew on their flight home 5 days before Christmas day and drove home alone as boy penguin was away on a business trip.  I can't remember the trip home, I just remember standing at the bottom of the stairs and not quite being able to summon the courage to go upstairs where I would have to pass by the sea of blow up mattresses in the TV room where we'd camped their last 2 nights and other small reminders of our time together.  So I slept on the sofa bed downstairs in the study after of course sobbing my eyes out.

I still feel sad walking around the house, finding a child's sock here, half of a pair of earrings, broken shoes from a  hard night of dancing :)  When I go to make toast I expect to see the peculator on the bench and the aroma of freshly brewed coffee wafting up the stairs but nada because Rich and I don't drink coffee.  I miss our little routine with my nephew every night when he comes to say goodnight and the boy penguin grabbing him and holding him captive pretending he has to sleep with us or tickling him until he's screaming the house down.  You underestimate the value of family, you take for granted the piece of your heart that they will always hold and which they take away with them when they leave.  Coming from such a close knit family of absolutely different personalities, there were always clashes that could rival WWII (there still are) but we always got on in the end and we were always the gang of 6 even when my father passed away.

So this Christmas as we sat down to dinner just the two us, I was reminded just how lucky I am to have my boy penguin with me.  Just how blessed we are to have each other and to be able to call one another "family"  It was quiet, it was a bit lonely but we were together, we're safe, healthy, smiling and content.  The Christmas I thought was going to be a complete disaster ended up being a bit sad, a little lonely but none the less full of love, warmth and blessings.  But I have to admit, come next year I think it would be nice to be around some family, I just have to remember in the lead up to December 2012 to have no visitors and to stop travelling so much...who knows, maybe by next Christmas we'll have a wee penguin ;)