I have been at my parents home for a week - well, it will be a week in several hours. The time has flown by and I'm glad I have another 10 days or so before returning to that wonderful but difficult life that I own.
It has been a stretching experience to be 'home' again. I've forgotten many of my family's daily idiosyncrasies - like how my dad will interrupt any activity I'm doing to show me something that doesn't interest me at all but he thinks is fascinating, and how when my brother has an opinion no amount of logic can change it. These things annoy me and it shocks me a bit for some reason.
It's a good thing there are the good things I'd forgotten too. How often my dad tells us he loves us. How my brother likes having me there to talk to. How much better food tastes when my mom prepares it.
We had Christmas early this year because the 23rd was the only day when we were all at home. My dad had to work today and my eldest brother goes back to the grindstone tomorrow. It was weird to have all of the gift opening without any "Merry Christmas"'s, and a little odd to be wishing Merry Christmas's on people today without the rest of the rigmarole.
My mom and I were talking about our lack of Christmas tradition. I had to think about it and I realized we aren't completely devoid of traditions. My mom makes Peppernuts (a Mennonite Christmas food - like a really little cookie, I guess) and Butter Tarts, we always have a black box of Pot of Gold chocolates and, of course, Toffifee. We get Christmas cards from our maternal grandparents and put them in the Christmas tree to wait for Christmas morning. Another thing that I really like about our Christmas morning is how we open gifts. We take it in turns not to open presents but to give them. I like the focus that gives the morning.
I've been reading a book over the holidays called "Walking on Water" by Madeleine L'Engle. It's been the perfect book for me to read right now, where I am in my life and art. I think it has helped me to see past the little things that could seem really big and remember why I came home for Christmas. Even though I wrote home in quotation marks before, this is a home for me, as much of one as my little room in my little town of fellow artists.
I wish a peaceful Christmas on everyone out there. Merry Christmas.