Spectrummy Mummy

Asperger's, Allergies, and Adventures Abroad

Home sick for Christmas

with 14 comments

I get homesick at Christmas.  It feels strange to say that, because our motto is that “Home” is where we are all together.  Each different place we’ve lived together has been our home, and every future one will be too.  So I call here Home the rest of the year.  I’m not expected to get homesick in a place I call home, where I’m a citizen, and own property, where people (mostly) speak the same language, and has many cultural similarities.  There is just enough the same to make it feel really different.  When we’re serving at a post, I don’t feel like a foreign-born spouse.  When we have a domestic assignment, I really do.

There is something about Christmas that makes me yearn for England, and my family and friends there.  I’ve only spent one Christmas in England during the last seven years, so perhaps that adds to the nostalgia.  I’m probably homesick for a Christmas that doesn’t even exist any more.  My parents no longer live in the house, nor the area where I grew up.  My brothers have their own families now, and my friends are all grown up too, with their own commitments and schedules.  I think when you live at a distance, your mind can play tricks, and you convince yourself that the place you can’t be is a perfect paradise.  If you were only there, everything would be just as it is supposed to be.  Fortunately, I only get like this at this time of year, and the rest of the time I immerse myself in my surroundings.  I’d be pretty insufferable otherwise.

There was no way to go to England this year again, and probably not next year either.  For our family, the tradition is now to spend Christmas with just the four of us.  I’m acutely aware that the way that we celebrate now will be the memories that make our kids nostalgic some day.  I’ve tried hard to get into the spirit for this reason, and to encourage Pudding and Cubby to do the same.  For the first time this year, I felt like Pudding “got it.”  We’d played with her nativity set.  We’d read stories.  She’d helped me to put our ornaments on the tree, and when we finished, she informed me that the presents would do right here (under the tree) and Santa would bring them.  We’d attended her school Christmas party, and her delight and excitement was contagious.  We made plans to spend a festive day with friends on Christmas Eve, followed by a cosy day at home by ourselves.

When she woke up on Christmas Eve, she refused food and drink.  As Pudding is almost always in a whirl of hyperactivity, this was our first clue that she was ill.  She had a fever.  Her temperature came down with medication, and she had no other signs of illness, so we continued with our plans, and she was fine, though a little subdued.  We waited for her to get better or worse, but she stayed pretty much the same.  She went to bed, smiling as we told her that Santa would come in the night.

Pudding woke up even earlier than usual on Christmas Day, chattering away to herself until Daddy went in to see her.  Instead of coming in to cuddle with me as she does every morning, she stood rattling the gate and pleading to go downstairs. She was thrilled with her presents, but not long after breakfast she asked to lie down on the sofa with me.  As the day wore on, she looked more out of sorts, until she fell asleep.  After about an hour, she woke up, was violently sick, then went to bed.

For the first time ever, we took down the decorations on Christmas Day.  I just wanted Christmas to be over this year.  Even the Christmas Tree came down, and everything was packed away for another year.  Like Pudding’s illness, my homesickness has abated now too.  I’ve packed that up, hopefully it won’t come out again for another year.  It is time for everything to return to our version of normal, whatever that is.

Written by Spectrummy Mummy

December 27, 2010 at 6:59 am

14 Responses

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  1. Being sick on Christmas isn’t fun. How is she doing now?


    December 27, 2010 at 8:41 am

  2. I can understand this feeling as I’ve lived 1,500 miles away from “home” (where I grew up) for the last 10 years – there’s just something about the holidays. Sorry to hear that she was sick, but glad to read that it didn’t last long! (I’m ready to take down the christmas stuff too–something I might do today.)


    December 27, 2010 at 11:00 am

    • There is something about holidays, probably always will be. I’m lucky that it only lasts for a little while for me, homesickness is a tough one to cure.

      Spectrummy Mummy

      December 27, 2010 at 4:17 pm

  3. I know the feeling! I used to live in a small Colorado ski town and now I do not have a white Christmas. Without the snow and small town feeling it is just not the same.


    December 27, 2010 at 12:00 pm

  4. I’m sorry she was sick, but I’m glad it passed quickly. this was the earliest I’ve been done with the holidays too. just don’t have the energy this year.


    December 27, 2010 at 1:07 pm

  5. I know she must have been feeling really sick if she went to sleep during the day. I bet she hasen’t done that since she was 2. Give her hugs and kisses from Oma and Opa.


    December 27, 2010 at 1:30 pm

  6. So sorry to hear that your little Pudding was sick. I do hope she’s feeling a bit better now.
    I must be very difficult spending every Christmas away from your home country.

    xx Jazzy


    December 27, 2010 at 3:41 pm

    • She is fit as a fiddle now. I’ve no idea what it was, but she was fine yesterday too!

      Spectrummy Mummy

      December 27, 2010 at 4:20 pm

  7. When asked, P&C will recount their christmases as being really special as they are not diluted by stressful and bitter-sweet, whirlwind visits of extended family – just intimate, quality time with their imediate family! – bliss!
    Normal is everyday life! Keep smiling!
    Liz x


    December 27, 2010 at 4:36 pm

  8. Oh no! Poor Pudding!
    I’m sorry she was sick and that you are missing England so much 😦

    I think you have a wonderful outlook on the life you have now though…..here’s hoping for a wonderful 2011 for the spectrummys……where ever you end up 🙂


    December 27, 2010 at 10:57 pm

  9. […] has only been one occasion when she has voluntarily gone to bed in the daytime, and that was at Christmas. I took a photo of her napping on the couch because it was so note-worthy. She gave up naps at 18 […]

  10. […] syndrome homesickness – I just self-diagnosed.  Now if only I could fly back to Blighty every year to treat […]

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