Today is the 1st of December. Only for about 20 more minutes, Mountain Standard Time. I’ve been looking forward to this day, although it has been somewhat mixed together with a tiny bit of a feeling I think can be something close to regret. The 1st of December means starting to count down to Christmas. It’s time to eat Christmas candy, listen to Christmas music but most importantly – to jump out of bed in the morning and run down to the advent calendar. My mum puts it up on the wall after everyone else in the house has gone to bed the night before the 1st of December. It’s an embroidered calendar she made herself when my brother and I were kids, but the tradition has lived on since I’m always home for Christmas.
Except this year. My first year abroad, even my first year away from home, on Christmas. We always celebrate Christmas at my parents’ house. They will do it this year as usual with all the traditions. That means porridge at lunch, Donald Duck at 3 PM -one of the best Swedish traditions- and a big Christmas buffet for dinner. But I won’t be there. And to be honest, that thought have kept me a bit sad during the last days.
When I wake up this morning, on the 1st of December, I still feel sort of happy. November is over and it’s time for the most wonderful time of the year. I really, really love Christmas. I’ve also bought myself a chocolate calendar that I’m quite excited about – another tradition I try to keep alive. But there is something else in the air. My boyfriend leaves our bed to have a shower while I snooze my alarm for the 4th time and when he comes back I tell him, still a bit sleepy, that it’s the 1st of December today. And he says “I know”.
That’s when I know something is up. When he continues with “You usually open your first present in the calendar at this time” I open my eyes, stare at him and say “You’re joking, right?”
He smiles. I get out of bed quicker than that only time I overslept and was late for work 2 years ago. In front of our door is a small but amazingly cute mailbox with the red flag pointing upwards. Fredrik has suprised me before, but I usually reveal what he’s up to because of my big curiosity.
This time however, I am blown away. In the mailbox is a cute pair of Christmas socks that I wear the rest of the morning. To be honest, it’s not the gift that’s important here, even if the socks are super pretty. It’s knowing that he understands how much Christmas and my family’s traditions means to me, and that I feel sad I’m missing it this year. It’s knowing that he cares about how I feel and that he wants me to be happy. It’s knowing that he has put down both time and money to plan this, just for me.
I have never met someone this thoughtful before I met Fredrik, and suddenly everything feels OK. I’m in Canada – something I’ve been dreaming of for so long, with my favourite person in the whole world. Also, in addition to all this, it will be so much easier getting up from bed tomorrow knowing I have mail waiting for me!
It might not be the Christmas I’m used to and love, but I think we can make it a good one!