“I’ll be (at Somebody’s Else’s) Home for Christmas”


‘”You can count on me (not to give you a hard time about it)”‘

Or not too much of a hard time, anyway. I mean, what did I expect? The Child is a Certified Grownup now, and not even a freshly-minted one. (She is not only ‘over 21’, she is ‘over 25′.)

Hmmm. It’s a wonder she didn’t spend Christmas Away even earlier

Even when she was a wee Santa-Believing Child I knew that, at some point in the Foggy Festive Future, there would come a Christmas that she would want to spend Elsewhere. And, even though we’ve been guilty of ‘downsizing’ our Christmas festivities as the years have whizzed by — going from super-sized Trees complete with all the Tree Trimmings (including a big ole pot-roast-fueled Tree Trim Party) to ever-smaller sort-of-decorated Trees In Pots to No (gasp) Tree At All — I still took it for granted that she would be with us at Christmas.

After all, she made it home for Christmas all through college. Why, even the year she spent studying in Cambridge (the England Cambridge, not the Massachusetts Cambridge), she managed to get herself Home in time for December 25. (Gosh, I hope I fed her some pot roast.)

But this year, since she was going skiing with her Boyfriend’s Family in Canada right after Christmas, and since Said Family lives in Canada, she said it “made more sense” to spend Christmas there. Logistics, you know. Plus, they had met her before and wanted her to come.

I will spare you a digression about how this Boyfriend has passed the Meet (Us) The Parents Test — and how he even Mixed Well With Everyone At Thanksgiving. (Me, when asked if Said BF could spend Thanksgiving with us: “But won’t he want to spend it with his own family?” Child: “He’s Canadian. They have a different Thanksgiving.” Me: “Oh. Right.”)

The BF (he’s in here somewhere) Mixing Well at Thanksgiving

Suffice it to say that we like this BF. Though we don’t talk about it with The Child, or not much anyway. If you have children old enough to have BFs or GFs, you will understand why without me even having to go into it. There’s the Contrary Factor, of course. Of which I was a horrible example. That’s when you date completely inappropriate people just to annoy your parents. Check out my piece ‘Yes, there are plenty of fish in the sea’ for gory details.

The Child, thank the Parenting Gods, is not like that. Not at all. But The Dude and I do tend to refrain from comment. Partly because we don’t want to interfere, but mainly it’s to protect ourselves. I mean, what if we express dismay with one of her choices — even after they’ve broken up and it’s ‘safe to comment’ — and then they get back together? You just can’t put that toothpaste back in the tube, if you get my drift.

So, we gave our blessings to the Christmas Away From Home idea, and celebrated our own Family Christmas a week early.

A week before Actual Christmas. Tree, no. Child, yes.

And then The Child scampered off to the Frozen North to join Someone Else’s Family Christmas for the Very First Time. I was comforted by the fact that it looked very warm in spite of the fact that it was actually very cold. (She was smack-dab in the middle of what looked like one of your more frigid parts of Canada.) She kept us posted, mainly via Instagram. (See photo at the top of this post for a chilly example. That’s The BFs Dad’s Man Cave, where you could see your breath indoors, even with that iron stove blazing away.)

And I was happy to see that her Christmas there was full of children and pets and food and fun — it seemed to be a whole heck of a lot like Christmases I remember from my own youth. Why, they even played games.

In fact, last night she sent an excited Instagram message saying that the whole family had joined in playing this new game craze called HQ (a trivia game which you can click here to find more about) and won the game! 

But even before ‘gramming’ us the gaming news, she and the BF (who’s identity I’m doing my best to protect, which is why part of the picture below is cropped off) sent us even gladder tidings. Which I will share with you.

She (and He) with warm Christmas wishes from the Frozen North. (There was a minus in front of the 16F that got cropped off along with most of BF)

Now I simply must call it a (Boxing) Day on this post and go join the rest of my family (yo, Dude!) while I still have one.

Merry (Day After) Christmas, all!

Amagansett, New York. December 2017

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20 thoughts on ““I’ll be (at Somebody’s Else’s) Home for Christmas”

  1. Merry Christmas, Alice! We are dealing with the same kind of thing this year and it looks like you have handled it with style (AKA much better than me). 🙂

  2. josypheen

    It looks like she had a fantastic Crimbo! I hope you and the dude had a lovely time too!

    We always play board games around Christmas too…my husband’s mum is still mad at me about a game of monopoly several years ago! Oops.

    • Oh, those Monopoly games can be fierce! The Dude and I did end up going on a very nice Christmas hike, which was almost as fun as a rousing game of Risk! (Ever play Risk? Good name for a pretty intense board game!) Happy New Year, and thanks for reading!

  3. Unbound Roots

    A bittersweet moment, I am sure. But, I sure can tell that your daughter loves and respects you since she keeps you in the loop. 🙂 Congratulations on raising a happy child. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you, Alice!

    • Yes. Bittersweet indeed. But yes, you are so right. Happiness in a child is a beautiful thing. We are so lucky. Happy New Year! Looking forward to sharing more stories with each other in 2018 xoxo

  4. Janet Berg

    Alice I love this. And. I love that you are five years ahead of me in the only child only daughter thing. So I can know what to expect.
    So much of this is so relevant to us.
    Thank You I hope you are well and Merry Christmas! Much more interesting to write about this than Kotex and while we are on that subject I do take a very small piece of credit for the existence of the child!!’

    • ah, Janet! So good to hear from you! And yes, you are welcome to more than a small piece of credit! Thank you from the tip of my Tree to the bottom of my heart! Wishing a very Merry Christmas to you and yours — And hoping your only child/only daughter thing is working out very well indeed! xoxo

  5. Having been born and raised in Canada I know she had a good time, Alice. Canadians know how to do that and they do not have an orange cloud hanging over their heads (now there’s steam!). Sorry I had to bring THAT into it. But I can imagine it is hard to give her up. Very best to you and The Dude. You rock.

    • You have no idea (or maybe you do!) how comforted I feel knowing that you are a Canadian! The Child has been welcomed with warm and open arms. And I’ve consoled myself (hah) knowing she’s in good hands. And that none of those hands has an orange cloud steaming overhead (!) Hahaha and Happy New Year to you, dear Judy!

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