For the October holiday, we went home for two weeks to celebrate Christmas with my family. That’s right, you read that correctly, Christmas in October. My family spans four continents: North America, Europe, Asia, and Africa. This year my sisters, who both live in Uganda and run an NGO, will not be able to go home in December because they are opening a hospital. Fortunately, we were all able to make the trip in October instead. We wouldn’t have been able to go a year without the tree, the food, and my dad at the piano playing Christmas carols, so we made it happen early and I can report that it was probably one of the best investments we have ever made.
The investment was much more than financial. Spending nearly twenty-four hours traveling door to door, plus the jet lag made the trip a journey. With an 8-month-old in tow the journey was harder then it has ever been before. After landing we spent three to four days recalibrating and Kai didn’t sleep through the night once. To put it lightly, the distance and time took a toll on us all. But despite the hardship of the travel, it was worth every minute.
The time together was priceless. The two weeks at home were more memorable than most trips back simply because we all were so willing to be together. We had never celebrated Christmas in October before and – despite the wear of travel – it worked perfectly. I realize that the time we have here on earth is temporary and every day is precious. Day after day I wake up and see that Kai has changed during the night and this makes it clear that my priority should be to enjoy every second of our time here together. Traveling home to share him solidified our family values, one of the biggest ones being just that – family.
The holiday is one hundred percent about being together and nothing to do with the time of year. My guess is that as our family becomes bigger and more difficult to transport, it will still be worth it. As we wore our Santa hats, sang the songs, and shared the time with each other, the thousands of miles traveled and the dates on the calendar ceased to exist. It was pure bliss. Ho! Ho! Ho! Merry Christmas!
Theresa Pauline is a yoga teacher, social entrepreneur, momma, wife, and beijingkids contributor. You can find out more about her at www.taozitreeyoga.com
Photos: Theresa Pauline