I woke up this morning and checked Facebook like I do every morning. I had a newsfeed filled with Christmas trees, talk of grocery shopping for the big dinner, Latkes recipes and parents sitting on couches with little children in front of their Christmas trees drinking hot chocolate waiting on the big guy. Families are traveling from near and far to be with other family members. I rolled over and looked at my husband, who had already been up for hours working, and I wished it was 2005. I was missing the idea of both my husband and me having a few days off, no work, no emails, no spreadsheets. My two little chickens off of school, no homework, no projects. The only to do list that existed was a list of everyone’s favorite cookies, a gingerbread house in pieces on the counter, just waiting to be put together and a large pot of sauce on the stove. The smell of Christmas wafting all through the house dancing with Amy Grant’s Tennessee Christmas.
Instead, I’m in New York City, in a warehouse in the West Village, with The Rolling Stones Satisfaction on stun playing on a never-ending loop fit only for torture. I’m in New York City, arguably the most Christmasy town around. I have not ventured to see the tree, I have not gone to Radio City Music Hall to see the Nutcracker, I have not gotten a bouche de noel. The only Christmas lights I have seen are in the breakroom where I meet with my staff for 15 minutes every morning. I have to work Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. There will be no big pot of sauce on the stove because I’m living in a hotel. There will be no cookies baking in the oven, and there will be no gingerbread house. There will be no leaving cookies out for Santa and a carrot for Rudolph, but to be honest, Santa and Rudolph have long since taken my house off their list of stops.
I miss the nostalgic Norman Rockwell Christmas that I remember from when I was little. I miss the Christmas mornings when my chickens were little and the look on their faces when they saw that Santa had eaten their cookies, drank the milk and the note Rudolph left for cookies next year instead of that lousy carrot.
My Christmas’s have certainly changed over the years, as they do when chickens grow up and move out of your nest and start building their own. So when I rolled over this morning and saw my husband working away, I looked out the window of the 20th floor of our hotel, and I came to a realization. I might not have the smell of Christmas cookies or the Christmas sounds of Amy Grant, but I have a good job. I have a job that lets me work every day with my husband and Christmas morning I get to wake up next to him, not alone. I’m working in a city 2 hours from where I use to live in Pennsylvania and am lucky that a few friends have made the trek into the city to give me a hug. I have made new friends and thanks to technology I can keep up with old friends. I can log onto Facebook and get my fill of nostalgia through them, and it warms my heart. I can facetime with my chickens, and I know that they are spending Christmas surrounded by love, Christmas music, cookies, and sauce.
By the time I arrived to work this morning, I had realized that I still have Christmas; it’s just a different version of Christmas. I’m surrounded by love, warmth, and the occasional Christmas lights. I also don’t have to deal with that chore I hated the most, tearing down the Christmas tree, taking down the lights and washing all those dishes.
So from me to yours, I hope your days are filled with lots of love and an abundance of cookies. The opportunity to reflect however you choose and a sense of peace. I hope all your chickens come home to roost or you at least get to facetime with them for a minute.
See you in 2017.