Everything Is Better When We Are Together

The Christmas season welcomes us back with open arms, but it doesn't feel quite the same as last year. When my family is together life seems easier. Once we were whole as only six souls and now we are only complete when there is eight of us. We have Christmas together a week early and it feels like the real thing because we are all together. We laugh and stay up late and this home of ours is full to the brim with people like it always used to be. Like I wish it always was.

Then as soon as they came, my brothers and my family leave again, destined for different destinations and celebrations. I miss them terribly when they go. Life is so much better when they are around. On Christmas Day it is just my parents, my brother and I and life feels tipped off balance.

In the morning we go to visit all my little cousins and see what they got. The excitement level among them is through the roof. They write me Christmas cards and show me every toy. Later on we go to my aunts house for dinner and relax. It is the most peaceful Christmas Day I have ever experienced.

Santa brings a range of pressies to be given to me from the people I love most in the world. I have a waffle maker, a selfie stick, a new hairdryer, more chocolate than I can eat by myself and so many little goodies I am too excited by.

The next few days are quiet.  Everyone is lounging around and I get on with holiday homework. I help mum finish planning for our New Years' Ceilidh and my aunt get ready for her annual Christmas party.

Like always we have the party in her house and my all extended family are there. Everyone is smiling and happy and I capture their happiness using the selfie stick she bought me a few days earlier.

More and more right now people are asking me how I'm feeling about moving away. I always tell them I don't know. I'm not convinced the idea that I'll be in India in a few months has really sunk in for me yet. I'm halfway there in regards to fundraising, something I once thought would be impossible. I know now that I'll make it. There's an unglamorous side to moving across the world. I walk around the house with my travel bag-pack full of dirty washing and heavy textbooks. Mum says I need to get used to having that weight on my back. She's right, like always, but I wish she wasn't.


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