Thursday, December 13, 2012

I'll [not] Be Home for Christmas

I looked at the date today and realized 1) I've been in Quito one month and 2) Christmas is rapidly approaching. This will be the first time I won't be with my parents and siblings in God's Country (north Idaho) for the holidays. And, although I try to be grinch-like by criticizing the rampant consumerism and awful music that happens around this time of the year, I am usually still brimming with holiday cheer by the time Christmas break rolls around. 
I don't really understand what celebrating the birth of baby Jesus has to do with giant, glowing, inflatable reindeer in every lawn, or the differences between Papa Noel and Santa, but I do understand an appropriately-timed Christmas carol, the joy of being snowed-in, late-night family bonding, a plate (or twelve) of delicious sugary treats, and the over consumption of holiday ales. 
I'm the one in my house who stays up late decorating the tree, listening to the same Christmas music I've secretly been listening to since October, and probably drinking aforementioned holiday ales long after the dog and cat (Roxy and Diego) have retired near the fire. I don't know why--I wish I could stop it, honestly, because it's pretty embarrassing--but I guess I've always been begrudgingly sentimental and this is no exception. 
Anyway, this Christmas will be different and I'm trying to decipher how I feel about it. I am of course a little sad that I won't see snow or my family and that I'm missing the Stuvland Holiday Ale Taste Test, but I'm not actually that sad. I mean, it's hard to think about Christmas right now. Every day here is like late spring, like baseball season. How can anyone be sad when the sun is up and the birds are chirping everyday before 6am?
Not only am I not very sad, but I haven't even had the desire to listen to Christmas music or bake elaborate goodies--I did make lefse last week, but I didn't even finish it because I got distracted with something else. Now I don't have any desire to make it. I've only thought about getting people presents once, a couple days ago, when I was talking to my sister and wondered what my nephews might want. But that was just a passing thought--I haven't even acted on it yet. It's so strange--it's like Christmas can't actually happen here for me. 
I guess it will happen anyway though, so, I am planning on going to Cuenca with my aunt and uncle and their kids. Cuenca is Ecuador's third largest city and has a very famous Christmas festival. I'm excited because Cuenca is home to Incan and pre-Incan ruins, the cloud forest, and a way of life that is rumored to be much slower and more traditional than Quito. But I've not really thought of the holiday itself as much more than a chance to see Cuenca and meet some of my uncle's family. 
This lack of yuletide cheer is all very new to me, but I guess I'm thankful that I'm not super homesick right now. Maybe if I thought about it for a long time, I could get sad, but that seems silly. So I won't. I'll continue living in some weird fantasy land where I skipped Christmas or Christmas just didn't happen here or whatever. I hope my seasonal apathy won't effect me or those around me in a negative way. 


  1. Oh my Bean...(I hope it's okay to be sentimental on your blog)I'm also trying not to think about not being with you and the boys and Mom and Dad around a spindly Stuvland Christmas tree and Mom's mad baking skills. I'm glad you still have some sentimentality for Christmas. Some of that might be my fault. I remember getting you pretty worked up (in an excited, happy way) with me over Christmas. Today Cal huddled up in a ball on the couch and said, "I miss my Aunt Bean. Will she be back soon?" They've been calling Aunt Julie Aunt Bean the last few times she's driven us places. I'm so glad you were able to be here for awhile. And don't worry about Christmas presents for the boys. :) Love you tons.

  2. I think it might even be a growing up thing! I only really feel motivated about getting my parents gifts. And I think that might be related to the fact that they've given me so much recently (or, I'm realizing they've given me a lot throughout my life). So, I guess it's more like a Thanksgiving: Parents Edition.