You know how sometimes we all get caught up in a snow-globe blurry whirlwind of shopping/baking/decorating/entertaining in addition to eating and drinking too much this time of year? Well guess what? I’ve found a cure for all that. It’s called take a trip.
That’s right. Leave the country, and don’t look back on your way out of town. And now that we’re approaching departure, I’m here to tell you that this is my year to do just that! Most likely by the time you read this, I’ll be at least one champagne toast and thousands of miles away enjoying a never ending flight [in United’s Polaris Club Business Class, no less!] to the land ‘down unda’ , aka Australia. Yep. A trip we’ve talked about for several years finally aligned with the sun and stars and a full moon and voilá! Tickets were purchased, plans confirmed, schedules rearranged, bags were packed [and repacked. . .] and off we go. It’s an epic adventure, for sure, and you can expect some good stories to follow in this blog about all those escapades and detours as we explore and discover not only Australia but also New Zealand and Tasmania.
Tasmania? Who does this?
But since I can’t yet write about the trip itself I’ll go back to the title of this post and tell you about some things I will definitely be missing while spending this holiday season half way around the world:
- My sister Mary’s Swedish Christmas cookies. Oh sure, I can still have some when I return in January but seriously, who should be eating Christmas cookies AFTER making that annual New Year’s resolution about weight loss? It just doesn’t seem right. . .
- Smiling when I open Christmas cards from loved ones every day in December. Again, I’m sure the card opening will wait until our return, but by then some of the joy will have passed because then I will be riddled with guilt about all the cards I didn’t send. It’s an annual holiday ritual I really do love, and I hope that people don’t think I’m ‘ghosting’ them. Or worse yet, passed away? Note to anyone reading this: if you normally get a Christmas card from me PLEASE KNOW THAT I DID NOT DIE IN 2018! I did, however, end it with a bang while out of the country, but the good kind!
- Department store shopping, husting and bustling here and there. I know, I know. You’re thinking I’m crazy, and maybe I am, but regardless of the crowds and line waiting and decision making about one gift over another, I usually enjoy that stuff. And yes, I know these days it’s all about cyber shopping. I wasn’t born yesterday, or was I?! But true confession, there is something magical for me about going to a department store and seeing the decorations, hearing the music, watching the shoppers and all that jazz. Mind you, I have no more tolerance than maybe once or twice a season for this stuff, but still, I’m going to miss that little tug of my heart as I remember doing that with my own mama years ago during snowy trips to ‘the big city’ of Grand Rapids, MI, which is probably why I still make the effort to do it now. Plus, isn’t that what all those Christmas carols joyously sing about?
- Speaking of Christmas carols, I’ll miss those singing peeps showing up at my house. Well, okay. That’s a stretch because it rarely happens anymore in my neighborhood. But still. Come to think of it, maybe there are some Australian Christmas songs I need to brush up on in case I meet up with rogue carolers down under? To be continued. . .
- Grocery store shopping for that special Christmas meal. Whatever we’re serving, we’ve put some thought into the day’s menus and I’ve made a list, checked it twice. Then off I go for one big grocery shopping extravaganza, and no matter how tired or rushed I might be when doing that, I love it! Probably because it’s a comfy cozy reminder of the power that one meal can bring to the table. It’s about feeding family, cooking with love, slowing down for an entire day and focusing on holiday happiness and all those Blessings we have. I’m thankful for my wonderful grocery store full of goodness down every aisle, and call me crazy (yes, again. . .) but I truly enjoy the experience of food shopping for the holidays.
- Going to Christmas Eve mass in my own church. Yes, we’ve been away before and attended services wherever we are and no doubt will do so this year, too. But sitting in my ‘own’ pew, listening to my own choir, seeing familiar faces and experiencing the silence and joy of Christmas services with your own church family is something I will definitely miss while traveling this year.
- Chocolate chip muffins made by my kids on Christmas morning! Yep, it’s one of those family traditions that got started way back when and continues today. Except for this year. . .and gosh, darn, no matter what I’ll be eating this Christmas morning I know I’m going to wish for one of those silly delicious muffins. . .
So there you have it. My not-so-short list of what I’m going to miss during the 2018 holiday season as we make this epic family journey half way around the world and spend it with who-knows-who because that’s just what you do when you travel and seek out new explorations.
As I’m fond of saying, “Life’s a journey, but do you know where you’re going?” Most of us don’t, but that’s half the fun.
Since this is my last post for 2018, I wish you a Blessed Holiday Season ahead full of hustle and bustle and cookies and special meals with muffins, and card openings and carolers singing at your door. Or not. Because everyone finds their own rhythm this time of year, so whatever your beat, may it be joyful!
Peace, my friends.