Now that I'm so very far from home Christmas, well, Christmas is different. For a start, it comes in a box.
I get two boxes, filled with brightly wrapped presents and goodies from home. Tim Tams. Toffee Pops. Milo. Maclean's toothpaste.
And while I love receiving packages, and I look forward to Christmas boxes (almost as much as I like packaging mine up to send over)... it's not the same as being home for Christmas.
A box of presents is a sore replacement for waking up and opening presents in your pjs with Sibling, or sitting in the garden, with paper Christmas hats with Dad. There is no off tune singing or scorched almonds stolen from the bowl before lunch. No bubbles with Mum. No walks in the sun with Quinn.
And while I'm in the UK with extended family this season, I'm weighing up the differences and similarities between the two. Instead of beaches there are moors. Roaring fires and blankets instead of sunlight in the garden. Champagne still happens. Walks still happen (though ones in sundresses and jandals through parks, another in gummies with all the layers I can possibly pile on, through muddy moors). All of the feasting still happens. Floods and cold and rain replace warmth and rain and wind.
While I'm comparing the two, really all that comes clear is that I'm homesick. I always get homesick around Christmas, when the UK weather is at it's beastliest and everyone is gearing up for a season with their family. It's now that I feel the furthest from home.
Christmas used to be family. And now... it comes in a box. Delivered by a courier guy on Christmas Eve.
So, I'm drinking Champagne with the closest to family I have here, and I'm rocking the Christmas tunes like there's no tomorrow, and I shall eat all of the things till I can't anymore, and then I shall go stand as close to the fire as I possibly can until I'm ready for a nap.
Merry Christmas, you guys.