My Grown-Up Christmas Wish

For five years now, I’ve found myself separated by thousands of miles from my family at Christmastime. 2010 marked the last holiday season we were all joined at my childhood home in Southern California, tucking into Mom’s impeccable turkey dinner, unwrapping presents, and spreading sweet warmth and good cheer. One week later, I flew to the Middle East on a special assignment, and since then, Lebanon has become my permanent new home.

The story is not an altogether sad one, as the past Christmases have seen me celebrating with the family of my now-husband. His family has graciously integrated me into their own, and for that I am thankful. 

But I’d be lying if I said I don’t miss standing next to Mom in the kitchen as she prepares the dinner spread. Or hustling to the supermarket with Dad for some last minute shopping. Or nestling between my two brothers on the couch as we watch our favorite Christmas movie, “Planes, Trains, and Automobiles.” Christmas just isn’t the same without them.

As I grow older and enter a new chapter in my life, I accept that change is inevitable. Indeed, I will be creating new traditions with my own family. But they will be inspired by the precious memories of Christmases gone before, of the boundless love my parents have demonstrated toward us, and of the hallmarks of this special season—charity, kindness, and compassion.

Here’s hoping next year will see us all united once more. Merry Christmas, and cheers to a blessed 2016.


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