My first Christmas away from family was great, I didn't long for home at all… probably not too surprising for those who have read this whole thing, but they say people tend to long for the familiar even if it's not good/healthy for them, but I was completely enjoying the freedom to enjoy myself that Christmas (well, the whole season from Thanksgiving through New Years).
I know there is a lot I have forgotten, but I remember being conscious of the truth that I was not family, yet the family I was with continually included me as if I were… amazing.
On Thanksgiving, I got away with hiding in the kitchen doing dishes allowing the family to spend all their time together visiting with less work, but at Christmas they wouldn't let me wash a single one. lol.
During "The Season" we did a bunch of baking… even I had a chance to make a batch or two of my fudge. We went shopping, there were Christmas parties (seemed like more than I'd ever been to…), and on Christmas I was spoiled beyond what I deserved by the whole family (they still treat us better than we deserve!)
It kind of reminds me of Lucy in "While You Were Sleeping". So accepted, welcomed, loved…accepted… included without expectation. Overwhelming love. Genuine friendship and care. None of these dear people had to do anything for me at Christmas, yet they chose to include me in their celebration of the birth of our Lord.
In the movie Lucy so loved that family so quickly she couldn't imagine life without them. Though my real life adopted family is worlds apart different from the Callihanns (sp?), I am as equally as endeared to them as Lucy was to the Cs… I can not imagine who or what I might be if I had never known them and I can't imagine a season of my life without them.
They told me this year it wouldn't be Christmas without my fudge :), but for me it wouldn't be Christmas without time with them… the bear gift that can be given is time that makes memories worth treasuring…