One Last Christmas Apart

Edinburgh Winter Wonderland at night - lit up

Yes, I know, I know – Christmas is (exactly) 7 weeks away, which makes it a little ridiculous that I’m currently bouncing in my seat like a schoolgirl at a One Direction concert. However, having just been awarded a promotion AND a payrise (thanks to the last few months of hard graft) – Stacey and I have just purchased our first ever Christmas Tree for the flat – which I think is a pretty big deal!

Carley & Stacey in late 2009, just after we'd first got together

2012 will mark the fourth Christmas since Stacey and I first met; which is a strange titbit of information considering that we’ve also lived together for 2 and a half years in January. When I look back to Christmas 2009, I was somewhat overwhelmed by my feelings for Stacey. I sat texting her from my big double bed in Essex, wearing her hoodie and trying to persuade myself that what I felt for her was ‘just a crush’. Considering I’d already told her, two weeks earlier, that I thought I was in love with her (drunkenly, after the St Andrews Christmas Ball) – I think I already knew that wasn’t true.

Flashback to Christmas 2010, and it is something of a different story. Though we’d had an incredibly tough year (the highs included my graduation, moving in together and first jobs, but lows included unemployment, Stacey leaving St Andrews and some almighty rows) Christmas was a blessed relief. I headed back to Essex for just a few days before visiting Stacey’s family home and then heading back to our flat for an ‘everyone’s invited’ New Years Party. Swapping presents and falling back into one another’s arms after what was probably the longest absence we’d had since moving in together was wonderful.

The middle of a drunken Hogma-gay party at our flat in 2010

As we spent a great deal of last Christmas and New Year’s apart, we both decided that 2012 would be the year that we go all-out on Christmas. It makes me sad that we’re still not going to be together physically on Christmas Day – but it’s a side effect of having families at different ends of the country that neither of us are willing to not see this year. It’s one of the reasons that I invited Stacey down to Essex to stay with me and my family over New Year; 6 days to enjoy Christmas leftovers, post-Christmas sales in London, maybe going to a West End play (Matilda the Musical, *cough*).

I know some people think that it’s strange that for such a committed couple, we haven’t made plans to spent Christmas together for another year, and I must admit that it’s a decision that neither of us take lightly. However, with Stacey’s little brother back from the States for Christmas, it makes sense for her to head home to catch up with him. And I’m not sure how I’d cope with Christmas away from my family – we have such silly traditions and rituals, plus it’s pretty much the only time all year I’m certain to see my whole family – cousins, aunts and grandparents included. I think that we’ve both made plans to head to our respective families for the 2012 Festive Season, but next year is likely to be different again – whether we’re spending our first Christmas alone in our own flat, or we choose to stay in Scotland or head to Essex, we’ve decided that we will definitely be together. One last Christmas Day apart, before a lifetime of presents in bed on Christmas mornings and our favourite festive breakfast – I can’t wait.

How does everyone else organise Christmas being split between two households / families? Is there an alternating system – one year at x, one at y – or do you spend Christmas alone, visiting family over the rest of the holidays? One thing is definite; I love Christmas, and I love Christmas planning – expect my instagram to be filled up with festive pictures very very soon!


6 Comment

  1. Laura says: Reply

    Historically we have alternated but this year – as the ones with the little babies – we are hosting! Yikes! Looking forward to it though.

    1. Carley says: Reply

      I’m really hoping that come next year, we’ll have moved into our own flat and will have a very quiet Christmas just the two of us. Sadly, that’s very unlikely, so I do think we’ll have to alternate.

      Sounds like your twins are going to be spoilt at Christmas if you’ve got all of the family coming to visit – bet they will love it!

  2. Brogan says: Reply

    Is that you using my photographs of winter wonderland, eh? :P

    1. Carley says: Reply

      Ah, thanks for pointing this out – I was using it as a place-holder as I didn’t have the photo I wanted at work. I’ve changed it now!

      1. Brogan says: Reply

        Ahahaha, don’t worry about it. Mairi was just looking through and was like ‘Bogie, isn’t that your picture?’. Winter wonderland is gorgeous at Christmas time though.

  3. We do something every year! Our first Christmases we spent apart up until after Christmas dinner and then I drove over to see S and her family, and spent Boxing Day with them. Then we moved to Leeds and had to go our families separately as it was the only time we would see them, all the years we drove home late Christmas Day though, as we both had to work Boxing Day.
    And then since I’ve qualified it’s been pot luck what shift I’m going to be on, but last Christmas was our first have having all of Christmas Day together, just the two of us, and although it was odd not seeing our families it was one of the best days of my life, it was amazing just to e together. And then this year I’m working Christmas Day again so it’s all changes again!! I guess we just have to take each year as it comes and try and make it as magical as possible :) xx

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