Sunday, December 25, 2005

The true meaning of Christmas

I had it all planned out. We were going to have a real (normal) family Christmas this year. I’d set up the tree in our new house (the one in Belmopan) and we would have a Christmas morning away from the resort. I had visions of Lucas waking up and seeing all the presents underneath the tree. We’d have a relaxed breakfast together, get dressed, take a family picture in front of our beautiful tree & then slowly make our way back to the resort.

Well…that never happened. Last night I left the Jungle Dome ahead of Andy, Lucas and Ian (Andy’s brother is here for the next few weeks). I had told Tella and Nora not to cook for us as we were going to spend Christmas Eve at the other house. But the minute I arrived there I started to feel bad. All I could think about was Karen. I knew that she missed her family (just as I missed mine) and that she would be at the Dome by herself on Christmas Eve and Christmas morning to look after all our guests. She had told me many times not to worry about her and that we should go and have a normal family Christmas in Belmopan.

I got all emotional when I looked at our beautiful Christmas tree, the presents and this lovely organized house of ours (Our living space at the Dome is getting rather empty and not much like a home anymore), when suddenly it dawned on me: “Fuck the tree!” In that instant I got what Christmas was really all about & it wasn’t a beautiful tree or being in a lovely house. It was about being with the ones you love! So how could we even consider spending Christmas without Karen?

I quickly phoned Andy and told him not to come, as I was coming back to the Dome. We had to be with family this evening and Karen has, over time, become our part of our family. So that evening we had dinner with her, Ian and Gonzo (our tour guide, who has also become part of our “adopted family”). The only one missing was John really. But he’s back with his mum and dad in Scotland.

Tella and Nora performed a “Jesus” on us that evening. They had cooked for 6 people, but managed to feed 12 of us in the end. Just like that bible story where Jesus feeds hundreds of people with one loaf of bread. It was a great Christmas Eve surprise.

The rest of the night was spent playing Poker with all the guests. What a fun game! I’ve decided that that will be our new Christmas tradition; play poker, instead of the family picture by the tree.

(I did take part of our Christmas tree back to the Dome, but it looks rather pathetic. It’s the size of a large water bottle and stands up by being stuck in a box of wooden bricks)
Still…it’s all about the love. Merry Christmas everybody!