I left home for university over five years ago. At the time I was so excited to spread my wings, get a taste of what it was like to be living on my own and experience something entirely new. I have never regretted my decision to move away from home, but that doesn’t mean I don’t miss it terribly. This is the second Christmas I am spending away, which has lead me to reflect a lot on what I find most difficult about it. I am writing this as a way of venting and perhaps letting someone, who is going through the same thing, know they are not alone.
The first difficulty is being away from my family. I am a big family person and while I am aware that many people do not get the chance to spend Christmas with theirs, it doesn’t make the distance any easier. No matter how long I am away, I never get used to being so far from the people I love most in this world. In fact, I swear it gets harder. I miss hugging my mum, chatting with my dad and being bombarded with playful tickling and poking by my sister. It is the little things that mean the most.
Then there are the little traditions and that special one of a kind feeling of being where you belong. Our Christmas isn’t big or complicated. It isn’t stressful or over the top. Our Christmas is simple, but lovely and very special to me. For as long as I can remember I have woken up on Christmas morning to the smell of a rum and honey glazed ham that’s been baking in the oven over-night. That smell is Christmas to me. The same goes for sitting in a circle at the dining room table to open our presents. They are simple things, but very impactful and much missed.
I try to keep positive about it all. But, this time of year does not make it easiest thing to do. Luckily, I have been able to surround myself with amazing and beautiful people. Whether it is my boyfriend’s family or my Irish family, I am made to feel at home and comfortable. While I miss my parents, my sister and brother-in-law, I cannot explain how grateful I am for the people I do spend Christmas with.