Let your heart be light. From now on our troubles will be out of sight…
Christmas in Ohio was wonderful, everything I hoped it would be. I’d only been in America two days by the time Christmas arrived, so it was a bit of a struggle to stay awake for the whole day, but amazing nonetheless.
My family even waited for me to decorate the tree so I could be part of all the Christmas traditions. My sister Tori baked enough goodies to feed an army, and I came dangerously close to sugar overload a few times, but justified it by saying that soon enough I’d be back in Ukraine and not eating like this anymore!
Christmas included lots of time spent catching up, cuddling puppies, going to church for both a Christmas Eve service as well as a Christmas day sermon (I was trying to make up for the last year of not going at all), and seeing as many friends and family members as possible in one day 🙂 After church we had Christmas at my house, with my parents, sister Tori, and sister-in-law Amanda. Heath was still at Boot Camp, and it was weird without him, but we still had a lovely Christmas morning.
After opening presents, I had a Skype date with my two favorite Americans in Ukraine, who I was already missing, and also made a long-distance call to my friend Olha because she wanted to hear if my family liked the presents she sent them. It was a nice way to keep up the connection to the people I love most in Ukraine, all the while fully loving every minute of being home!
Next we headed to my grandmother’s house for Christmas dinner, where I met my new cousin Elise. My Aunt Linda adopted her just a few months ago from Russia, so this was my first time seeing her! She’s 2 years old, and is definitely in the throws of being a terrible toddler. My aunt handles it all with grace and ease though; Elise is her 3rd daughter, and she has the parenting thing under control. I heard Elise get to the “naughty chair” at least once or twice 😉
After we finished opening presents at Grandma and Grandpa’s house, we relaxed at home and watched my favorite Christmas movie, Christmas in Connecticut. I didn’t see much of it, because although it was only 5 pm in Ohio, my body felt like it was midnight because of the time difference from Ukraine. My nap was short-lived though, because we had one more Christmas-day stop: at a party with some of our dear family friends, the Johnsons! One of their daughters, Alyssa, is my age and we were good friends in high school. We went to different colleges and haven’t seen much of each other since high school, but it was wonderful seeing her, catching up, and meeting her husband who she got married to since I left for Ukraine. Its great to have those friendships that can be instantly resumed whenever you see each other again, and that’s definitely how it felt with Alyssa. It was a great evening full of friends, food, and laughter, and a nice note to end Christmas on 🙂
Christmas was everything I hoped it would be, and the best part was that when it ended, I got to go home and sleep in my own bed just like all the Christmases I had growing up. I hope your Christmas was just as wonderful!