The beauty of Christmas is friends and family. On paper that certainly suggests we might be up against a difficult one this year. We're further flung than a two hour drive to Sacramento, and that 50 dollar Southwest special to Portland is no longer at our fingertips. It seemed the, 'left coast' of the United States was determined to remain on the other side of the planet this Christmas.
Since arriving we had done well to fake out and fend off this ever closing in 'monster,' that was Christmas! The occasional, "man, it's going to be soooooo weird this year," being our only real slip-ups in our attempt to avoid this onslaught of certain realization. The realization that without two very important, above stated ingredients, Christmas might feel a bit off this year. Ever tried making Mac and Cheese, without butter or milk?
Our hiding place must have been sufficient enough, the over-exaggerated, 'Christmas Monster' (loneliness) wasn't frightful at all. Our new friends treated us like old friends, inviting us to be a part of their families. We spent time in two new Czech cities, (Mokra and Usti) with three very hospitable Czech families. We opened presents, ate way too much (amazing) food and most importantly made new friendships and cemented a few life-long ones as well! Surprised, would be the perfect understatement to describe how we've felt this holiday season, in receiving a torrent of blessing. I can't say it's been either the best or worst holiday season of my life, just that it's been the most essential. It's unquestionable that it often takes being without something or someone to recognize it's significance.