Christmas is going to be very different for me this year. This will be the first time that we are alone - Tony, Sacha and I. We have no family coming to visit, and we were unable to go back home to visit family as T could not get the time off.
Growing up with a francophone mother and a ukrainian-slovak father, there was never any shortage of people to celebrate the holidays with. Christmas eve involved midnight mass followed by a reveillion at my Memère's (grandma's) house: feasting, singing, playing games, and general merry-making until 3 or 4 in the morning. Christmas day was traditionally spent with my Baba and Gedo and my dad's family, eating perogies, holubtsi, nalesnyky, 5 kinds of pies, and lots of games: Rummoli was always a favourite.
Then there was the week between Christmas and New Year's Day. It seemed as though everyday involved some sort of house party or get together, involving more food, more games and merry good times. My mom usually throws a mean-ass New Year's Eve party for family and friends, and age doesn't seem to factor in to the level of fun you can have.
This year, Christmas will be silent. We will go to Christmas eve mass, although we will be going to the 5:00 mass so that it doesn't interfere with Sacha's bedtime. We will most likely go to bed around 10 because we know that Sacha will wake up at 6 or so, and then we will spend the day much as our other days are spent: play, Dora, Elmo, lunch, nap, play, attack the kitty, supper, bedtime.
It just doesn't feel like Christmas. Too quiet. Too empty.
I am still clinging to some sort of fantasy that someone is planning on surprising us and flying out here at the last minute. Although I am certain that this will only leave me more disappointed when the day comes and no one else is here.
I'll put on a brave face and pretend that it doesn't bother me that we are alone. I will smile and try to make the best Christmas I can for Sacha, but it will not be easy. All I can do is count down the days until we are back among family next summer and I can sleep soundly in the assurance that we will never again be left in such isolation during this most special time of year.