After spending the past three and a half months of my teenage life away from my family, the homesickness in the weeks leading up to break was like an ever-present under-current to all the chaos and Christmas preparations going on the surface. But unlike most people, my advent calendar ended on December 21st, not on Christmas Eve. The morning of the 21st, I lugged my overstuffed suitcase down the stairs of my host family’s lovely home and began my one-woman journey towards America. Now normally, SYA likes family to come visit their children in Europe (which is obviously great) but given that my grandmothers live with me, making the trip overseas wasn’t exactly an option for them.
Being home for Christmas is like being wrapped up in a warm fuzzy embrace. That feeling that gets sung about by countless pop stars come Christmastime, is by no means over-rated. I know that now– nothing beats being home for the holidays. I spent the first few days slowly slipping back into my old normal routines, punctuating my acclimation to hearing English all the time, with last minute Christmas shopping with my family. I don’t think anyone has ever been so excited to brave the crowded malls as I was, simply because I was with my flesh and bone family (as opposed to their pixelated Skype form).
For Christmas, I’d resolved to show off my newfound “Frenchness” by bringing macaroons to our annual Christmas lunch. I think the more macaroons we made the more finicky they got, but three hours, a couple broken shells and several spoon-fulls of cassis ganache later, we had 100 pink and green macaroons all cling-wrapped and ready to go.
Slogging away in the kitchen with my sister, the Christmas songs at full volume in the background, then stuffing my face the next day with my family friends while watching a distinctly un-Christmas-y movie, reminded me of what I love about the holiday season: all the wonderful family memories. So from my family to yours, Happy Holidays!