The first Christmas I ever celebrated away from home was when I was 15 years old, but I was still with family. I had my sister Amber by my side and we flew down (the flight was a bit traumatic- we can skip that part of the story) and spent time with my grandparents in sunny Florida. It was weird to have a Christmas with absolutely no snow! And spending it with so few people.
The second, third, and now fourth Christmas I have spent away from home have been here in South Korea. This time around was probably the least sad I felt being away for the holidays, and it is all thanks to technology.
It was around 12:30 a.m. (I think?) on Christmas Eve for me when I first face-timed my sister Amie. She watched me open the gifts she sent and we laughed and smiled together as she explained what they were for. Then I got on my computer and Skyped in with the whole fam. After some lovely chit-chat with everyone and being paraded around the living room (and once Josh finally got out of the shower) they set me up on a footstool in the middle and started passing around presents.
I have never felt so involved in a Christmas while living on the other side of the world. Darla and Amber did selcas with me (that is the Korea term for “self camera shots”, very popular here in Korea), which I still haven’t seen the pictures of yet (hey!)… And instead of opening their gifts in front of the aunts and uncles and grandparents that actually got them gifts (I didn’t send anything from Korea, oops), my niece and nephew spent the whole time in front of the computer opening each present in front of the camera with phrases like “What do you think is in the box Auntie Melody?” “OH, LOOK WHAT I GOT!” and “I love you!”
My heart has never been so full. I was remembering back to when Izzie and Noah hated to talk to me over Skype (they didn’t really get it, and there was so much playing for them to do), and now Izzie knows exactly where to hold her pink pick for their pink ukulele so that I can see it up close on camera.
Here’s to hoping I make it home next Christmas, but knowing that I will survive if I can’t. I like you technology, and I adore my family, they make me whole!