My family doesn’t celebrate Christmas. But I’ve always appreciated the associated Christmas break. To me, Christmas is the time period starting with Lucia on the 13th of December up until New Years Day. And it’s filled with different seasonally available foods, lights and candles in the dark outdoors. And of course the Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings marathons. It’s the time for spending time with my family and just enjoy being together. But this year is different.
Since a year back our family is in California. And although colder in December than in other months, there is no snow here, and the days are not as dark as in Sweden. Christmas decorations doesn’t seem to be a big thing here either, at least not around where we are staying. And of course the food and candies are different too. I miss being home this year, more than I did last year. Perhaps because last year it was all new, having been here for less than two months. And perhaps it’s about the nostalgia and wanting to remember how things used to be.
It’s been an odd year. With Covid-19 sweeping through the world, few things are the same. But moving across half the world adds to the feeling of things being very different this Christmas. So far, there aren’t many things I can say that I like better here. But then, we haven’t done much here yet either. All the exploring we had planned, visiting national parks, going to the nearby park with the kids every weekend, going on a roadtrip across California – all of those things have been put on hold indefinitely. And when it comes to foods – I do start to understand the obesity problem in the country. Unhealthy food is cheap while healthy vegetables and fruits are not. Cooking for yourself requires trips to different shops because they all seem to specialize on different things. And vegetables and fruits here can induce food-triggered allergies.
With the holidays approaching, even the movies here are disappointing. Our TV has free channels, but none of them are showing anything that isn’t cheesy Christmas movies from the 90:s, and the Twilight series for flavour. Harry Potter costs 4 USD per episode! So although it is the season of Christmas, it seems Christmas is very far away from us this year.