John and I married in 2006, so this is our fifth Christmas as a married couple. It’s also our third time spending Christmas by ourselves.
The first year we were married, we couldn’t leave the States to go to Canada due to Green Card issues. We were living in Boston at the time, and we spent the holiday on Martha’s Vineyard at a quaint, old inn.
It was my first Christmas without my family, and I had a hard time with it. Although we went to Christmas Eve mass in an adorable church, had a lovely holiday brunch, and saw a cadre of wild turkeys while touring the island, I cried when I spoke with my family on the phone—I missed them so much.
Two years later, John had his breakdown. He came out of the hospital on December 15, and I just didn’t feel comfortable going anywhere. (I’m glad I listened to my intuition on that. He was definitely psychotic again by Christmas Eve, and he ended up checking back into the hospital on New Year’s Eve.) He also was happy to stay put, as Christmas with his mother (who was an alcoholic) was always stressful for him. I still missed my family, but that year I was more focused on John, so there were no tears when I spoke with them on the phone.
Last year, we made it up to Canada. I’m grateful for that, because it was my grandmother’s last Christmas. She passed away in July.
This year, we were all set to go home for the holidays, but my appendicitis got in the way. I was having contractions for a couple days after the surgery, so it wasn’t just my weakness that convinced us not fly anywhere, but also concern for the baby. I’m not even disappointed that we’re not in Canada today.
Of course, it would have been nice to be with the family, but I suppose that after four years, John and I really are our own little family. Mini Whistler has also developed quite the karate kick, so he/she makes sure we don’t forget that baby’s about to make three!
Merry Christmas, everyone!