Merry Christmas Eve day

It’s Christmas Eve and for all intensive purposes, today is Christmas in Chile. Since celebrations occur this evening, with dinner at about 10 pm and the opening of gifts at about midnight, that puts Santa’s arrival at about 11:45 pm versus the 4 am timing that occurs in the States, allowing kids to catch some zzzzz’s prior to the frenzy on the 25th in the morning.

Several things are on my mind today and I’m trying to sort them all out and/or make them happen.

The most pressing thought this past holiday season can best be described by channeling the Talking Heads and their song “Once in a Lifetime.” Not necessarily the entire song, but definitely the first part of it and especially the end of that first part which asks “Well, how did I get here?” Here a snippet (compliments of Kermit the Frog since I couldn’t find the actual video on YouTube. I rather think the Kermit one is more up my alley but that’s six of one and half a dozen of another …)

Yes, Kermit’s voice gets slightly annoying towards the end of the clip but I do want to consider each point in the beginning of the song:

You may find yourself living in a shotgun shack
– well no, not living in a shotgun shack exactly. Apartment’s nice and cozy.
You may find yourself in another part of the world – Yes, this part here is true.
You may find yourself behind the wheel of a large automobile – No, no. The car is a mini little egg-type bit.
You may find yourself in a beautiful house, with a beautiful wife – Why yes, in a beautiful apartment with a beautiful, nice smelling soon-to-be husband …

How did I get here:

– I’m the woman of the house and in a way I’ve never known before. I may not clean, as we have help for that, but I direct the cleanliness and well-being of this house.
– I decorated for Christmas and have initiated traditions that I foresee being with us and our future family for a while.
– I’ll be the hostess of our family’s gathering for Christmas Eve tonight.
– We bought Filet Mignon and are about to embark in a full fledged hard-core prepping of a family dinner
– And we’re going to try to create magic for G’s kids tonight given that they believe in Santa and we have to keep this little lie alive (well, “we” is a term I use loosely actually. G will be doing most of the magic making.)

I bring this up because my mom has been keen to repeatedly telling me that she’s so proud of the woman I’ve become and the house I’m “running” and the traditions I’m continuing for my “own” family. Sometimes I feel like she’s talking about someone else since half the time I consider myself to be oh, about 16 and obviously a 16 year old can’t manage all that – what, with boys and the entire cast of Twilight to consider. Who has the time? Sometimes I feel like I’m this teenage girl trapped in a big, woman world. Other times I feel like the same woman who was alone in her apartment last year during the Christmas season and inviting her girlfriends over for merry enjoyment of alcoholic beverages. I didn’t even have a tree back then.

We’re hosting family and friends at our grown-up apartment tonight and it’s a big deal to me. It’s a moment in time that captures everything I once longed for and thought was so out of reach: a man I love who loves me back equally; my mom seeing me in my own home as a grown up; the invite-ER as opposed to the invite-EE during Christmas; the hostess who makes sure that each one of her guests finds a gift under the tree. Sometimes I have split-second moments of freaking out (hence, how did I get here type thoughts) but the freak out is really the 16-year old/single woman me backing off to the woman-of-the-house/master-of-her-own-domain diva who is on her way to having it all. I’m not there yet – far from it – but I am certainly ahead of the curve I think. And that curve isn’t one set by peers, but one that was set by me – versions of me that existed long ago and versions of me that I knew far longer than the me I am getting to know now.

This me is a grown up. This me is a woman. (Even writing that seems weird. What? Me? A woman? Surely, you must be mistake …) This me has a fabulous apartment and is serving filet mignon for Christmas dinner!

Madge said it best… who’s that girl?

Hee hee! Me I think. Except you know, a “woman” now.

To who we were and to who we are now… and to the path from A to B – Merry Christmas!

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3 thoughts on “Merry Christmas Eve day

  1. Congratulations on creating what sounds like a wonderful Christmas celebration with all the people you love! Sounds like youre all going to have an amazing time! Merry Christmas!

  2. I like how you have to qualify that the future husband is nice smelling, hahaha!!!!

    Do families here do Christmas morning? I have never spent a Christmas in Chile with small children…always with Seba's immediate family only and we always do all presents on the 24th with a big dinner and all that. The 25th isn't a celebration for us, but I always wondered if that was a Chilean thing or a Seba's family thing.

    Congrats on how far you have come. Be proud of yourself! It's not easy to build a life with someone, let alone at the end of the globe in a new country…but you're doing it…and making it look good 🙂

  3. Yeah the kids are totally throwing me off… I have to pretend the whole Santa thing! Apparently in Chile it's all the 24th at night. They take the kids out to a "plaza" or a "dar una vuelta" and then they come back and – poof – the presents are miraculously under the tree in the 2.2 seconds they weren't there! I mean, if I were a kid, I'd catch on a lot sooner than they seem to do so here.
    Screw that. I'm making my kids go to bed and having them do it all on the 25th. That way we can "track" Santa and when they see he's in Argentina, they'll make themselves go to bed. I have it alllll worked out…

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