1. Christmas Trees
Okay, I have always lived in Oregon. Over there, getting a six foot tall, gorgeous Douglas Fir is about $20-$25. Apparently, I never realized how good I had it, because on the East Coast, the same tree goes upward of $400. Hell NO am I going to be able to do that. So sadly, for the first time, I have had to purchase a fake tree. Not even a full height fake tree. But a three foot tall fake tree. I think I just died a little inside.
2. My family, duh
During the holidays, I always have enjoyed my super long winter break with my family for weeks on end. When I went to college, I rarely came home just because. I learned very quick to value the time that I spent at home, which still is true ( maybe to a greater extent ) as I am 3000+ miles away from my family.
3. And my friends!
Can’t leave you guys out!!! I have two friends over here ( I’m not complaining, they are both fantastic! ) but I miss the friends I made in high school and college. I’m coming back for you guys too!
All anyone knows over here is Starbucks ( not my favorite, at all ) and Dunkin’ Donuts. In the Pacific Northwest, there are drive thru coffee places EVERYWHERE. All different kinds, not just the popular chains. In my hometown there are two fantastic small-town single location coffee drive thrus. I miss the small town charm of these, rather than the corporate heads that are here. I’m so excited!
5. Outdoor Christmas decor
Maybe it’s because we live in an apartment-oriented neighborhood, or maybe it’s because people aren’t as festive, but people in my area aren’t into a whole bunch of outdoor Christmas decorations. In my hometown, people everywhere ( even out in the countryside ) decorate the outside of their homes. It’s like little balls of light along the roads. Even just thinking about it makes me miss it more!
This isn’t something that is unique to the PNW, but it is something that I no longer have over here. My parents have two fireplaces in their home, and nothing is quite as festive as sitting in front of the fire next to the Christmas tree with hot chocolate. Maybe some Christmas music?? Okay, I know I’m getting a little corny.
7. Mom’s cooking
Mom, I never appreciated your home cooked meals more than I do right now. Try as I might, I just can’t seem to get anything quite as good as yours. Even cookies. That’s a different story.
8. Christmas Day breaky
Oh my goshhhhhh. We pretty much have a buffet on Christmas morning with my whole extended family. I am SO looking forward to quiche, cinnamon rolls, bacon, fruit, hash browns, and the famous hot orange/apple juice combo. I’m salivating already.
9. The annual wrapping paper fight
When my whole extended family gets together on Christmas morning, we open presents in order from youngest to oldest. Every year, we get about halfway through the present-opening when an unsuspecting person will get hit in the face with a nice wadded up ball of wrapping paper. The second half of the present-opening mainly consists of keeping one eye on someone across the room. My family is very mature!
10. That small-town feel
That’s the best part about it. I love going to the mall and feeling the excitement ( and stress, let’s be honest ), but I love going home to my small town and spending time with those that I love. Especially this year, after not seeing my family for over five months, it’ll be one that I will appreciate more than ever.