My hometown is a little town in Washington State where there are more fruit orchards and coffee stands than there are people. Its nickname is “the Palm Springs of Washington.” Let me assure you, it’s nothing like Palm Springs. And it’s nothing like Boston. I’m pretty sure that’s why I miss home as often as I do. It’s like no place I’ve ever been.
The title of this post is deceiving, and I apologize for that. I actually won’t be home for Christmas this year. I wish I could be, but I just can’t make the trip this year.
Here are some of the things I’ll miss about not being home for Christmas.
10.) Wicked Fresh Fruit
Washington is one of the countries largest producers of fruit. And apples hold a special place in my heart. I think if you’re from Washington and you don’t like apples, you just might be stripped of your Washingtonian status.
9.) The Holiday Decorations Around Town
My small town has a cute “downtown” area that was bustling with activity when I was growing up. Now it’s quiet and has several unoccupied buildings. But still, the city decorates it beautifully and I’ll miss seeing the sparkling street lamps and glittery window displays.
8.) Mexican Dessert Specialties
There are several Mexican bakeries in my hometown, which usually means there’ll be some extra-special treats available for the season. Yummy goodies like tres leches cakes, apple donuts and freshly made Abuelita Hot Chocolate come to mind.
7.) Coffee, Coffee, Coffee
We all know what mega famous coffee giant was originally brewed in Washington, right? Well, then you can understand that people from my state are obsessed, I mean OBSESSED with their coffee. In my hometown, there is literally a coffee stand on every other corner, if not every one. My people really like their coffee. And if you don’t drink coffee, again you’ll be stripped of your Washingtonian status. It’s a privilege my friends, not a right.
6.) Sledding at Franklin Park
If you’re from my hometown, this is a ritual that never goes out of style no matter how old you are.
5.) Parks and Clean Air
I grew up in a town with LOTS of parks. We had regular playground parks, parks with swimming pools, parks with baseball fields and even parks with function halls. We Washingtonians love us some recreational fun. I never knew how much I’d miss parks until I moved to Boston, which is basically a concrete jungle. Oh how I miss smelling the fresh park air.
4.) Dancing with My Father
When I was little, every year I’d dance with my Dad to Brenda Lee’s Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree. I used to put my feet on top of his feet and he’d swing me around the tree until we were both too dizzy to stand. Every time one of us hears that song on the radio, we call the other to laugh and remember our holiday tradition. I miss dancing with my Daddy more than I can express is this post.
3.) Playing With the Kids
I am the youngest of five kids and that means my siblings started having kids when I was just a kid myself. I have 11 nieces and nephews between my three sisters and brother. I’m pretty much like the fave aunt in my family, probably because I’m the youngest and coolest. (Yeah that’s right Amy, I said it.) I’ll really miss playing with the kids and daring them to do silly things. (Stay tuned for a video later this week where I show you my nieces and nephews daring each other to do crazy things during my last visit home.)
2.) Watching It’s a Wonderful Life
I love this movie, but what I love even more is watching it with my mom. She introduced me to George Bailey at a very young age and we’ve been watching this movie every year whether we’re together or not. It never fails to bring me to tears, make me laugh and remind me that there are still good people in the world.
1.) My Family
And last, but certainly not least…what I’ll miss the most about not being home for Christmas is my family. The crazy family that I love so dearly.
I’ll miss the sibling rivalry, the arguments and the name-calling.
I’ll miss quoting movies with my brother, cooking with my mom and mocking my sisters.
I’ll miss the massive amounts of food, the bottomless pots of coffee and my dad’s tamales.
I’ll miss the laughter, smiles and childlike joy.
I’ll miss Lena, Amy, Antonette and Tony.
I’ll miss mom and dad.
I’ll miss home.
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