Every single thing on the road seems to defy the way I imagine it. I have quite a big imagination, but sometimes it can be way out of line. For some reason, I kinda imagined life would be just the same when travelling, only in a bus! Yeah, no.
This year, we are headed into our first Christmas without family around us. Last year, we were in my parents house in Perth, but this year no-one is nearby. Since we hit north of Geraldton, we knew we wouldn’t be turning back anytime soon. I must admit, in November I was really sad thinking about it. No Christmas with my sisters, their husbands, all the cousins playing, the traditional American dishes brought by each of us to share. The Christmas story read by my Dad to the 16 Grandkids (we don’t do things by halves). Karl’s parents and sister/brother in law aren’t nearby either. We usually have a pre-Christmas catch up with them (two Christmas dinners, BONUS!!) and the thought of not being near any of them made me very depressed!
But my brain had time to sit and think- and yes it will be different this year, but not bad. And blessings are always surrounding us. This year we are blessed to have friends nearby. More than one group of friends in fact! We seem to have all travelled about the same since we met in Broome. If you are wondering if you will make friends on the road, the answer is a resounding yes!
As for missing the usual traditions, we have made some of our own. We have Patrice the elf who we lost (don’t ask) and had to order another. Thank goodness for express post. We have made our own special batch of mincemeat ready for fruit mince pies. And rather than spending the day slaving in a hot kitchen, we are going to have a mainly cold Christmas to counteract the hot Darwin weather. I’m really looking forward to not doing too much at all! We are reading through a Christmas devotion together daily, and we have our own re-usable advent calendar (this mean Mum makes the kids share, so they only get a lolly every 4 days… mwah ha ha ha). If you are missing all these stories, make sure you hit “follow” on our page! FB has become the Christmas scrooge and decides to show our posts to only a few people sometimes….
So the Christmas on the road is not at all what I imagined it would be, but it is still pretty special! My advice if you are just starting out would be to make it your own. Rather than recreating what you had at home (which might just make you sad- because it will not be the same) why not create something completely new?
And the heart of Christmas, that doesn’t change. Jesus, fully God humbled himself and came to Earth as a man, to live a basic human life with little privileges, to suffer and die on a cross and to rise again, all for me. And you. Emmanuel, God with us. To give a new start, to wipe hearts clean. All the other things around Christmas are fun, give a sense of belonging and a feeling of nostalgia. But they aren’t the heart of Christmas. So if those little twangs of longing for Christmas’ past wash over me, I will focus back on Him. 🙂