As you read this, I’m likely far away from Squamish, nearly at my holiday destination on the much, much colder East Coast.
It’s always an adventure to make my way to my family home for Christmas. Nearly on the other side of the country, there are no direct flights to Nova Scotia from B.C. One winter, after moving to the West Coast, my flight back east was redirected — the weather too severe to land. We circled above the Halifax airport looking for a window, but had to depart when the crew risked working too long on board. Instead, my brother and dad drove to New Brunswick to pick me up from the airport where I was stranded.
The journey is always worth it.
There’s a beautiful tree in the corner, decorated with ornaments we’ve hung time and time again. Everyone loves presents, but it’s not those that are the
Of course, I can’t get enough of our traditional East Coast Christmas sweets. From chicken bones (a kind of hard candy) to cherry cakes to those chocolate-covered brandy-filled cherries, my sweet tooth waits to indulge all year. If we’re lucky, someone will have picked up iceberg beer from Newfoundland.
Then there’s the more savoury plates such as salt meat, tourtiere (a meat pie) and a variety of fresh seafood. Pacific salmon just isn’t the same as a taste of home.
As we get older and fly the coop, learning to make our own way in the world and find our place in it, being able to come home and live out the old days is something to cherish. For almost too long, me and my siblings will all live under the same roof once again. We’ll squabble a bit, watch truly terrible holiday movies and we’ll get under each other’s skin. Just when we’ve had enough, we’ll fly the coop again and return to the lives we’ve created for ourselves.
When you return to life as usual, it can be bittersweet, but I also know we’ll be rejuvenated and inspired to recreate our favourite parts. Time is more precious when you don’t have as much of it with your loved ones. It makes you long for what once seemed like the endless days you had together, but also glad you’ve had them at all.