I've never, ever spent a Christmas season away from my family. Ever. I know this is going to sound a little emotional, but I can't help it. Christmas makes me emotional. I cry when I hear a Celine Dion sing "O Holy Night," or good old Nat King Cole sing "The Christmas Song." Christmas has become even more emotional for me since I got married and I've established my own nostaligic ties to certain things about Christmas. Most of these emotional ties are linked to certain Christmas songs.
--One of my friends had a holiday party last year and made us all a mixed CD (remember mix tapes??) and I get kinda choked up when I listen to it.
-- There's a CD I've had since high school and there's one song that for some reason always takes me back.
-- The first CD Marc and I both loved for Christmas is still my favorite. And that CD sparked my blog post today.
On Sunday we went to Home Depot and picked up a Christmas tree. We've always gone to Mystic Farms in outer Greenville County and picked out our own Frasier Fir. Sigh. We just don't have room in our little apartment for a big Christmas tree. I opted to go with a pedestaled-skinny version in order to save room and my sanity. Then if we have more room later this one can always be an extra.
I did. I turned it on.
And then I burst into tears.
I don't know what it was - was it the music? Was is the lack of a gloriously earthy smelling Frasier Fir? Was it the absence of our families? Was is hormonal? Probably all of the above.
It was that everything was the same: all our decorations, my nativity, our music, our ornaments, and our pretty red star. But it wasn't the same.
My sweet husband understood. He just hugged me and agreed with me that it was different, but that he was glad we had each other. Instead of making me sit down and talk it out, he let me put the ornaments on the tree with tears streaming down my cheeks. He didn't get annoyed at the sniffles resounding from the bottom of the tree because he knew that I just needed to get it out.
He's a good man, that one.
And then we booked our flights to SC for the holidays, and decorated the tree, and set up my beautiful nativity scene.
Have I told you about my nativity scene? It's nothing fancy, but I love it. Marc got it for me last year. Every year we've been married he's added something to our Christmas decor for me. I'd wanted this nativity forEVER and last year he let me get it.
I have a couple that are not Nativity and have given several as gifts (I especially love their maternity ones.) But when I saw the Nativity I lost my breath. It's serene and lovely and the colors look different in various lights (difficult to show with photos). There are two sets - the Nativity and the Christmas Story. Mine is the Christmas Story - larger in scale but more simple. It's just Joseph, Mary, and Jesus and a few animals. The way it must have been at first.
You have to understand, I'm not really a "homesick" kind of girl.
But when I started "frooffing" (Marc's words) our little tree, I cried almost the whole time. Even while I sang "Silent Night" and "Sweet Little Jesus Boy," I cried. I love it here, but it's...just...different. I kinda miss our little house and all the memories we made there. Is that so bad?
Here's a couple more Christmas-y things I put up. Not too much, but enough to make the apartment feel special.