Thursday, January 3

Christmas pictures, thoughts

Christmas eve at my Grandmother's house in Austin. This picture (through the window) looks so formal yet warm to me.

The boys in the living room bonding over TV.

My Grandmother's ornament tree showcases these strange, fancy ornaments made my Great Aunt.

The past few Christmases (I think it has been four?) that I have spent in either Korea or China, I have felt nostalgic for home and time together with family. I still appreciated getting to spend Christmas with friends, especially with the new friends I made, and sharing some of my traditions with them. While teaching at the university, we shared the meaning of the holiday and did something special in class near the day. Often on the day, even though we had to give or grade finals, we still marked the day with some sort of festivity and enjoyed it together.

When I was there I missed being here, when I'm here, I miss being there. I didn't realize while I was there how wonderful it is to celebrate with friends in a faraway place. It's wonderful because I got to be with people with whom I shared the real meaning, anticipation, and joy of Christmas. There were a few gifts exchanged, but that was never the focus. We just enjoyed being together, remembering great Christmas memories and creating new ones. The traditions we celebrate here are great, and I enjoyed (and am enjoying) the time spent with family, but sometimes I feel like we're just going through the motions. The tradition I grew up in doesn't usually focus much on the meaning of Christmas because we are supposed to be celebrating it all year long. I hope, though, that in all the traveling, time with family, and gift giving, we can allow this time of the year to be less crazy and more of a time to be re-filled with love and purpose. I don't really know how to do that. I've allowed myself to get frustrated with the way things are compared to the way I think things should be without being a positive contributor to change.

So, I remind myself, as the new year is already almost three days old, that it's a NEW year and even though there are many things I am longing for, there are many good things in the here and now and I will rejoice in the opportunity for change!

I want to keep my soul fertile for the changes, so things keep getting born in me, so things keep dying when it is time for things to die. I want to keep walking away from the person I was a moment ago, because a mind was made to figure things out, not to read the same page recurrently.
- Through Painted Deserts, Donald Miller

1 comment:

RD said...

I am all too familiar with the "when I'm here I want to be there and when I'm there I want to be here" syndrome. Such is cross-cultural living I suppose.