This year, for the first time since embarking on this adventure, we’ll be going home for Christmas. It’ll also be our first trip home in 2013, and our first trip home in nearly a year and a half. (Most of my family didn’t get to see Liam at all while he was 2 years old.) It’s been way too long, and we’re all really looking forward to it. I absolutely cannot wait.
Of course, the reality of it is a bit overwhelming. In addition to all of my normal Christmas preparations (except maybe for getting a tree — I don’t think there’s any way to ensure it doesn’t spontaneously combust during the 2 weeks we’ll be gone) — decorations, gifts, wrapping — I also have to pack for a 2 week trip. And, since we leave on the 20th, I have 5 fewer days to work with than usual. Eek.
That’s ok though. Whatever effort it takes us, it will be worth it. It has been much too long since we’ve seen our family, and entirely too long since we’ve spent a Christmas together. (I know that Liam doesn’t have any memories of Christmas anywhere other than Vienna, and I doubt that Benjamin does either. And although Christmas in Vienna is pretty wonderful, being together with family is the most important part.)
Putting aside the stress I feel about the logistics, the mildly insecure worry I have about the gifts we’ve chosen for everyone (only in my head — we haven’t actually shopped yet), and the flashes I keep having of the scene in “Home Alone” where they run through Charles de Gaulle Airport in Paris at Christmastime (we’re connecting through Paris on the way home and on the way back) I am completely beyond excited. The boys, too, can’t wait — Liam asks, almost daily, if today is the day we’re going to Grandma’s for Christmas, and Benjamin has asked excitedly for many details about how Santa will know to deliver our gifts to Maryland instead of Vienna.
I already know the visit will feel too short. (Just 2 weeks?!? How can we possibly get all of the visiting, talking, playing and general merry-making that we’d like to into that time?) But now that the visit is less than 6 weeks away, and Vienna is full of festive Christmas preparations (the Christmas markets open this weekend) it feels real. And I am so excited.