Another Merry Christmas away from home

My flights are booked to go to Switzerland just before Christmas to work during winter. They have been booked for over a month but I have been putting off telling my family. I work abroad most of the year & find that my timing in telling them has to be impeccable. I have to time it just right so it isn’t immediately after I get back from somewhere, just before I leave for somewhere or while I’m out of the country….. There is a small window of opportunity. My sister is the first one to react “Awk Nuala” she mutters annoyed & disappointed. I sit awkwardly as she motions to her children & says they’ll miss me on Christmas day. What can I say?
It’s not that I dislike Christmas at home, Christmas week is the busiest week for me work wise in Switzerland. The ski resort is at capacity & I am fully booked doing treatments & earning an income. I have a great work ethic & I don’t really see Christmas as a holiday. In Ireland I used to work long hours on the build up to Christmas & a 12 hour day with no break on Christmas eve. My dad would do some work on Christmas day & I would be straight back to work & in my usual routine on Boxing Day. I drank plenty with my family & friends in between, but it would never feel like a holiday to me – unlike others who get a few weeks off work to enjoy it. Actual time to switch off & enjoy the break. Oh, the beauty of working in customer service. 
*rolls eyes* 
This will be my third consecutive Christmas spent in Switzerland. I am going to be in one of the most beautiful places on earth spending it with the wonderful community of friends I have found. I will have to work, but it will be grand. Dependent on when I will be working, I will have poached eggs & an Irish coffee for breakfast, go for a Christmas ski (depending on how I feel from the night before. Note that the Irish coffee will happen hangover or not!), visit friends, Skype family & friends at home, pitch in making a big dinner with my friends, do secret santa, eat, drink & go to the bar. The sense of community, love, warmth & acceptance between all the displaced seasonaires is immense.
Before I leave Ireland, my family will have a big Sunday roast & I will give them their gifts for Christmas day. I will squeeze in as much quality time as humanly possible & invite people to the house for post dinner drinks & premature Christmas pudding. There will be rain pelting the windows outside & a roaring fire, laughter & mulled wine inside.
I won’t miss much from home over Christmas. The things I miss the most are my dog, the people, the craic & food – not anything exclusively Christmas Day affiliated. It doesn’t have to be Christmas Day for me to eat plenty of good food or enjoy the craic & a few drinks with family & friends. I can do that almost every day. You don’t have to restrict your merriment to 1 day a year.
Merry Christmas everyone!

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