Growing up holidays were always a big deal. And really, that should be Big Deal, capitals and all. Every holiday had it’s own cute little decorations, big family dinner, and all the other celebratory paraphernalia. We did gifts, themed clothes, themed food, the whole shebang – for every holiday of the year. All the big ones plus a multitude of the smaller ones, nothing went unnoticed. It’s no wonder that I grew up loving holiday weekends with all the fun and excitement that they bring. It’s also of no surprise that I closely associate the holidays with family. Because really, that’s where it was all centered.
The 2010 end of the year holidays were the first I spent away from my family. We had a little Thanksgiving dinner with some local friends and Christmas was just us. I had never put up my own tree before; there was no need, I spent all of my Christmases at home. I remembered thinking then, that it felt so lackluster, there were sparks missing.
Then came all the other holidays, Valentines Day, St Patrick’s Day, Easter, Memorial Day each one slipped by completely unnoticed. No big dinner, no decorations, no celebrations at all.
And of course, here we are at Independence Day weekend. My husband is USAF, so you’d think this might at least be a bigger holiday to us. But we’re living in a foreign country, that obviously (and rightfully) doesn’t celebrate the 4th of July. Though a friend did remark on that the other day like it was strange or a new concept to her. The base is throwing it’s big celebration today. Actually, it’s going on right now.
And where am I? I’m sitting on my couch at home, by myself while B is off with his German handball team playing in a fake tournament. It’s only fake because the games are 15 minutes instead of 60 and the breaks between are supposed to be filled with beer chugging. Not really an “authentic” athletic event. He may or may not be home in time tonight for us to get to go see fireworks. He was so, distanced, from the whole concept of the weekend that he was planning on going to practice on Monday night. Even though we’d talked of having a bbq to celebrate with his brother.
I think it’s just starting to dawn on me, how little of anything was a big deal in B’s family. Sports events were huge; but birthdays and holidays almost fall completely by the wayside. They just aren’t important to him, because they never were growing up.
Which leaves me at a bit of a loss. There’s no reason to go all out with decorations and fun things, if I’m the only one who cares about them. There’s no reason to plan elaborate dinners or parties, if there’s no one there to eat the food. But, but, but.
I miss it. I miss family, friends, food, and fun being the center of holiday celebrations. I miss making things cute and cozy.
It’s hard sometimes, when you’re on the far side of the world from everyone. It’s hard when they barely have time to tell you hello. It’s hard when they don’t hear the complete loneliness in your words and voice.The holidays make it harder, because it’s the time you’re supposed to be with family or building your own traditions. And lately, it seems our only tradition is letting everything slide by the wayside. It’s not something I want to keep doing, but I don’t know how to stop.