Chrysoula Koutsouri, Munich (apomamasemama.com)
Since we moved abroad, we have always taken for granted that we will spend Christmas with families and friends in Greece. Besides, as a good friend of mine recently said, if you do not share joyful moments with your own people, you lose everything. But this year for the first time we decided to stay at home.
On the one side our recent move that has not let us relax a little bit, on the other side our children’s new beginning at school, or the fact that we had never experienced Christmas in a country which is famous for its festive atmosphere, we took the brave decision to stay at home. At the same time though our guesthouse opened its doors and sent information to everyone: come and celebrate with us! Only a few days after that, we were already fully booked – sometimes even double booked. From the opening of the christmas markets (late November) until the new year, we would have visitors. The refrigerators started filling up early enough, excursions were organised, menus were arranged, the house was decorated accordingly – we were ready.
It goes without saying that not all went as we predicted. As in any real guesthouse, we had a last minute cancelation, a virus – fortunately light one – made its appearance and slightly battered us, but apart from this, we had a GREAT TIME! We experienced all sorts of weather – from amazing sun till infinite snow – we had endless walks in nature and in the city, we ate too much, we drunk too, we talked, we laughed, but most of all we had time to live our people without time pressure, to enjoy their presence without the stress of a few hours that we always have in Greece.
Today, one and a half month after the first guests’ arrival, we woke up alone and it took me some time to realise that the children had no longer to be quiet, because there was no one to disturb. And despite fifty laundries and the tiredness of a full house, I felt a great melancholy. Holidays are over, our beloved people have all left. Now I should be patient until our next Easter trip. And the truth is that when I recently booked our tickets, it hurt me when I realised how many days are left until then. It is also so many of our own people who we did not have the chance to see this Christmas. But I know well now after all these years abroad, that even if we do not see them as much as I would like, our friendship remains the same. And when the time comes to meet them again, it will feel just as if we were together yesterday. And this in the end is what matters the most…