To me, the holidays bring a sense of belonging. There is a warmness, an extra niceness.
Yes, the world gets frantic and grumpy when the store shelves aren’t stocked with what we want and the check-out lines are too long and the children need naps and, well, so do we but we still need to make that Aldi stop because Wal-Mart was out of pumpkin pie filling.
But then we come home and the individuality fades and there is a togetherness again, even in the hustle and bustle of a busy kitchen.
Celebrating far from family isn’t quite like this. The sense of belonging is lessened. Not vanished, but subtle, something I need to search for. But those remaining shards are precious too. Even from far away, I belong. And that belonging tints the world with bright, warm tones and I find myself extra happy this Thanksgiving and Christmas season.
I don’t want to spend the holidays wishing I were somewhere I am not. I choose to contribute to the joy of right here, because this is where I belong too.
Ten things I’m thankful for this year:
- the great faithfulness of a loving Father
- Spain’s acceptance of my 5-year residency application
- the tail-end of COVID-19
- friends and neighbors that I bump into every time I step outside
- strong family dynamics, even though I live thousands of miles away
- opportunities to travel and experience other worlds
- my team, my “right-here” family
- sweater and boots weather
- enough, even with climbing energy and food prices
What are you thankful for?