The best of all gifts around any Christmas tree: the presence of a happy family all wrapped up in each other. – Burton Hillis
The Holidays: Some people dread them, some people can’t get enough. We belong in the “can’t get enough” category. Although Rocket enjoys Thanksgiving more and I prefer Christmas, one thing we can both agree on is spending as much time as we can with our extended families. We love you guys! 🙂 This year, however, proved to be quite different…
Before getting married, I never missed a Christmas with my family. To be honest, the thought of spending Christmas anywhere else was unfathomable. But one thing that is constant in life is change. Last year, Rocket and I attended a family wedding in India before traveling back home for New Years. Although I missed my family a lot, Rocket was very supportive and I enjoyed my experiences in India.
This year, without doubt, we expected to spend the holidays with family, but plans changed last minute. Instead, we spent time with our friends and relatives in the winter wonderland of Dubai!
Initially, I was quite dejected upon the thought of missing yet another Christmas at home. We have several traditions that I look forward to every year! My wise younger sister pointed out that a first (and maybe only) Christmas in Dubai would be great experience, but my wonderful husband still suggested that I travel home. I declined, but living so far from home, it makes life easier when you have an understanding spouse, and it is one of the reasons I love him so much. We both value family and help one another maintain those relationships despite the distance.
To make the best of the holidays away from extended family, we tried the following:
- Make our own traditions – We decided to collect Christmas tree ornaments from all of our travels to hang on our tree and read the story of Jesus’ birth from one of the gospels.
- Incorporate each other’s family traditions – My family has an annual boys vs. girls gingerbread house decorating contest (girls always win of course…) and Rocket’s family prays before opening gifts. We did both!
- Do something you both enjoy – Rocket and I went to a spa Christmas Eve for a couples massage! It was a nice way to start the festivities.
- Video Chatting – Whether it’s Skype, Facetime, or Whatsapp making time to video chat with family members on the holidays helps to feel connected despite the distance.
- Make Plans to Visit Family – If you are unable to visit family during the holidays, plan a vacation during the year to spend time with them.