|A small part of La Famiglia, circa 1993. My apologies to any relatives reading this!|
When I left for Spain, I had originally considered coming home for the Holidays. However, I thought, it's only one year, I won't mind. I didn't feel like spending the money and all the time traveling back and forth for such a short time. I thought it wouldn't phase me at all. Additionally, I didn't want to miss Christmas in Spain, a chance to experience the holiday in another country, and to take advantage of almost three weeks off from work to travel. However, as Christmas approaches, I'm wishing ever-so-slightly that I had decided to come home. This was probably spurred by my too-cool-for-school 18-year-old brother sending me a text saying that he missed me and wished I were coming home for Christmas. This never, I repeat, never happens, and thus made me pretty homesick. Despite all this, I'm here to stay, as it's a little too late to go home at this point.
Many Spaniards have asked me if I'm going home for the Holidays, and I always get a lot of sympathy from them when I tell them that I'm not. Spain is an extremely family-centered society, and a Christmas away from your family is almost inconceivable. Luckily, I've become close with one of the teachers at my school and her family, and they have invited me to spend Christmas with them and their relatives. I am definitely excited to see how the holidays are celebrated here, and am very thankful that I will be among good company. Santiago is looking very festive now with all of the lights at night and the store display windows beautifully and ornately decorated. As for the rest of my Christmas break, that remains to be seen, but I'm sure I will figure something out.
To all my friends and family back home (if there is anyone actually reading this), wishing you a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Years from Spain! I'll have a Blue Christmas without you...