Happy December! I'd like to start off with a confession.
I know this sounds ridiculous, but I don’t think I’ve ever found a better way to spend Christmas. Honestly, I never thought I would say this, but I believe that Christmas this year feels like the most Christmas that Christmas has ever felt in a very long time. Unfortunately, as you grow older, the hype over the holiday slowly dies down. This was gradually happening for me. I started to not be as excited as I was when I was a kid, until this year came around.
I have been studying abroad for quite a few years now, but I’ve never felt more homesick this year. It’s usual for international students to travel abroad for educational purposes, but this year, we’ve never felt this much pressure before—pressure to maintain safe, amidst all the chaos. This got me thinking: being away from family and friends from home makes me feel so empty. There’s a piece of me that’s missing when I’m not around them. And when I looked back at simpler times, I never realised the amount of peace and safety I felt in their presence. And this is why I’ve never felt so eager to go back home for the holidays.
I’ve had some difficulties in arranging a flight to go back home, but I finally managed to get a hold of a ticket. Though I have to quarantine for 14 days in a hotel, I’m willing to do whatever it takes to see my loved ones, whilst many people aren’t able to do so. And to be completely frank with you, I have never felt so excited to build a Christmas tree in my life; to see my family and friends, and to embrace them. Luckily enough, there aren’t any cases in where I live, which makes this Christmas a much more blessed one.
At the start, I felt so gutted because I knew that Christmas this year wouldn’t be the same for each and every single one of us. It’s so weird because I think that though the pandemic is supposed to separate us far away from each other, I think it has actually done the exact opposite. The pandemic has brought us all closer, maybe not physically, but in spirit. We miss each other more than before, and if you have noticed, the relationships between you and other people have probably strengthened over the course of this year. Sometimes we need to be set apart from the things that are important in our lives for us to learn how to appreciate them and not take them for granted.
Last but not least, my only tip for you this Christmas is try to enjoy the rest of this year at home. You might think that your home is just plain boring, especially if you have spent the whole year indoors. But home isn’t just a house, but it’s the people that bring you happiness and joy, even when the world can be a dark place. Home isn’t just a place that can protect you, but the light that guides you.
So, even though our actions this year have been restricted, though we unfortunately can’t see each other as much as before and do our Christmas shopping and have dinner together; whether you’re in a high-risk zone, or whether it seems like all hope has been robbed from us this year, as long as you’re lucky enough to spend Christmas at home with your family, be grateful. Not many people have the chance to. And if you really think about it, you are much more privileged than so many other people. A lot of people aren’t able to make it back home in time for Christmas Day. Some people I know will be spending Christmas in a hotel, quarantining. Take this time and be present. After all, it isn’t that bad, right? As long as you’re with your family, what could possibly go wrong?