You know the saying – You don’t know what you’ve got until it’s gone. Well it probably becomes even more obvious when you aren’t with your family at Christmas time.
There was a time I used to find it an incredible inconvenience to have to organise the day and try and divide it between two large families. Now I’d almost give anything to have to make those choices again.
Around four years ago, my entire family (my husband and my three children) upped sticks and moved 2,000 kms away to a place where we knew almost no one. We had to for a range of reasons but mainly it came down to the fact that we needed work and Melbourne was where the work was at.
It all felt like a very big adventure at first. We’d only ever known our home on the Gold Coast and it was the place where all of our friends and family lived – and still mostly do. Upon arrival, it was so exciting and new. We had jobs to settle into, schools to make new friends at and a house to fill with furniture.
But it wasn’t long before reality set in and all of us, one by one, started to get incredibly homesick. I would say, that I felt this the most acutely and within two months, I was prepared to tuck my tail between my legs and just go home.
That’s when we discovered we weren’t alone. In fact, there was a community that we hadn’t counted on that were there for us and it made all the difference.
See that picture above? That’s not our Christmas tree, yet we use it every year at Christmas. Four years on, we still don’t own that Christmas tree. No, this Christmas tree belongs to our neighbours who, upon hearing that we didn’t own one after arriving with basically nothing, said they had a spare one we could use.