There are two times in the year that I get super excited; my birthday and Christmas. Everyone around me knows that I get very psyched throughout July and December. Back home, I'll be in charge of sorting out tinsels, lights and the Christmas tree, outfits and baking cakes with my dad. Christmas carols just give me a sense of an inner peace, and sometimes I find myself singing 'Joy to the world', and it's not even Christmas.' LOL. Growing up, I would look forward to having new clothes, new toys, and Christmas plays and parties in Sunday School. So maybe all of that really stuck with me as an adult.
In the last few years, some Christmases have been touched with pain. One year I was mourning my sister. On another, one of my best friends lost her dad. This year, we lost a colleague. But in all of this, we still get to remember and celebrate our Saviour's birth.
This year, Christmas is especially different for me. It is the first time I have ever spent Christmas away from my family and friends. So amidst the beautiful sights and wonderful sound of Christmas, I have to face the fact that it's really not the same as being home. I miss the adrenaline rush of navigating shopping madness in the city centre and having activities lined up for the holidays. Or fighting with my tailor about outfits or just walking around the hospital with my reindeer horn headband as Santa's little helper. But I have realised that it doesn't matter where I am or how I am celebrating; the reason for the season hasn't changed. So I found myself looking for options of what church to go to on Christmas day. I want to go to a church with an excellent choir where I can sing along and immerse myself in some of my favourite hymns and carols. This period has been a good reminder that even though the Christmas is packed with family and social gatherings, the celebrations shouldn't be all about us. Jesus is the reason for the season.
I am experiencing the 'magic of Christmas' differently this year. I decided to not put any pressure on myself. If all I did this Christmas was go to church and have a good meal, it's still okay. Millions of people worldwide do not even know it's Christmas because of suffering and grief. It may not seem like it, but this year has been incredibly tough for me in some regards, but this season I am just so grateful for making it this far. I am thankful for all the many blessings I received in the last year. I wake up each morning with a joyful heart, thanking God for the gift of love and life and keeping in mind all the things I am grateful for.
In the spirit of the holiday cheer, I got myself a little Christmas tree, put up the lights, and played some Christmas melodies every morning (and some evenings too). I got a Christmas jumper, a reindeer headband and happy socks! I watch old Christmas movies with a bowl of popcorn and Oreos ice cream and think of all the things that make Christmas special for me. I bought myself a cute little tea set with "Go easy on the soul" written in gorgeous gold print as a reminder to extend myself a lot of grace every day.
This year I am creating new traditions. It won't be the same as being home, but it will be good too. It is a different kind of Christmas. I'll call my friends and family at home to let them know I love and miss them and I'm counting down the months until I can see them again. And then, I'll usher in 2022 in this beautiful country that I'm calling home for the next few years. So, if you're spending this Christmas away from home like me, make sure you do all the small and meaningful things you can to spread a little cheer and keep the spirit of Christmas alive. Sing carols, wrap those gifts, light that tree, treat yourself, treat others... whatever brings you joy this season. Because Jesus has given "Joy To The World!"
Here's some inspiration to keep your home and heart filled with the sounds of Christmas. These are the five most played songs from my Christmas playlist this year; each of them fills my heart with a different kind of peace. I hope you enjoy them!
A different kind of Christmas may be the most special kind of all! Until the next blog post, have yourselves a Merry Little Christmas!
P.S Scrubs, Scalpels & High Heels is on Instagram as @scrubsscalpelsheels! Follow me!