I can tell you what Christmas is all about, Charlie Brown.

Friday, December 25, 2009

The summer when I was 9 years old, my family and I moved from Belgium to Italy. It was difficult, as I'd just spent 5 years in Belgium (the longest I'd been in a country) and was inconsolably sad having to leave my friends. I was adjusting to my new life in Italy, missing my friends, trying to figure out what was going on in my life; all during that odd, awkward adolescent stage. Additionally, in late November we decided to move from the house we were in to an apartment building in Caserta, moving farther away from Gricignano and Pinetamare and Lago Patria and all the few friends we had made since.

This Christmas was also different because my father was assigned overnight-duty at work from December 24-25. Having always lived in Europe and never been around relatives for the holidays, it was normally my parents and brother all together for Christmas Eve, having a special dinner and watching movies and playing board games - only once was he ever away on a ship for Christmas, but I was too young to remember it. For the first time that I could remember, my dad wasn't going to be there.

Everything was set up to be a devestating Christmas for a 9-year-old girl: no friends, no dad, changed routine, most of our stuff was still in boxes. We hadn't even done St. Nicholas day that year! (Apparently it's celebrated differently and on different days in Italy.)

But that Christmas is actually one of my favourite memories.

We made do with what we could; we set up a small, sparse tree behind the couch in the middle of a bunch of boxes. We turned on the TV to any english-speaking movie we could find (it was Wizard of Oz). I remember my mom wrapping some of my dad's gifts, sitting there watching with my brother and I. And I especially remember the bean bag game my mother had made stitching pieces of felt together with beans in the middle. We used an empty Tide box and spent hours tossing the bean bags into the box across our massive living/dining room area, making up games and challenges. My mom said we could stay up, even though Santa was coming, because we could wait for dad to come home. Santa would work around us, it was no problem.

I don't remember what gifts I got that year, I don't remember playing with toys, I don't remember all the things a kid would probably remember about their Christmas. I do remember falling asleep way before dad got home, and way before Santa came to the house. I do remember waking up at 8am to the sound of my dad coming home from work, and my brother and I running out to the living room to wish him a Merry Christmas and being delighted to see a mass of presents magically under our tree. I remember having breakfast together as a family, knowing that I made it through my first Christmas in Italy, and it was different--but wonderful. Because my family makes it so wherever we go, whatever circumstance we're in.

That's what Christmas is all about, Charlie Brown.

apologies for the rudimentary "colouring" going on in this - i only have the touchpad mouse, so Photoshopping for colour was a bit...harrowing.


Post a Comment

About Me

My photo
I'm fairly obsessed with penguins, Peanuts (the comic), and the TV show Friends. Parentheses may or may not be (over)used in this blog, and books will pretty much be the only thing I ever talk about because they are my One True Love.


#best09 #reverb10 12 Changes in 2012 2011 2012 20sb 30 Day Journal Challenge AAA absence album anecdote art article bad mood Balboa bathroom beach birthday blackout blog blog award blog birthday blog swap Blurb of Absurd body book books books; book review bored boys brother building fail California cards challenge change Chargers childhood China Glaze Christmas cigarettes clutter comic-con contest conversation excerpt cop out post Coronado creepy December Nights decoration Demi Lovato dilemma Disney Disneyland do you want to date me? documentaries Downtown Disney Dr. Horrible drag queens dream drunk earthquake Easter emotional Essie Fall family fashion Father's Day fear fiftypeopleonequestion fill in the blank friday Film first kiss food friends frustrated fun funny future future fail gifts girls Glee Golden Globes Google Google reader Google Wave greek guest blog Halloween happy health health insurance needs to rot in hell (but does it cover that?) help me hero hiatus hit and runs SUCK ASS holidays home hope hot humor hypothetical situations not at all based on reality or my life imaginary in memoriam inspiration introspective iPad Italians Jeopardy Jersey Shore John Mayer journalism judgment L'Oreal LA letters to myself library lies life life lessons Link Love Friday list love lust Mama Kat's Workshop Mash-Up Mayer Hawthorne mom money movies music nails NaNoWriMo nerd new year night out OPI opinion packaging party past peace Peanuts penguin personal photos pictures place poetry polish Portland Postsecret random relationships Restaurant Road to VDay room roommates from hell rush sad sdcc10 secret shame shopping sick sleep spoken word sports Starbucks strange Target tea Teaser Tuesday technology Ten on Tuesday thanksgiving this makes no sense this should probably embarrass me but it doesn't tips Top Ten Tuesday (Books) Toy Story 3 travel trips TV TV taping Twitter Utah Valentine's Day Vancouver 2010 weather weekend WHAT IS MY LIFE why does auto-correct suck so hard Wordless Wednesday work work sucks workshop writer's block writing YA you're not really a doctor anyway Zoya

i'm probably reading

Zoe's bookshelf: read

The Dragon's EyeAngelsThe Lightning ThiefThe Man of My DreamsCity of GlassCity of Ashes

More of Zoe's books »
Zoe's  book recommendations, reviews, favorite quotes, book clubs, book trivia, book lists

  © Blogger template On The Road by Ourblogtemplates.com 2009

Back to TOP