It’s really hard to describe how I feel today. It such a mix of emotions, as it is with everything here. I woke up to a text message from my mother and immediately text her back and told her to call me. It was wonderful to hear there voices and I could picture everything perfectly. I knew my sisters would have gotten up early to open their stockings, which would be stuffed with makeup, panties, and jewelry. Then they would run down stairs and look at the tree with all of the prezies underneath before jumping in bed with my parents. My parents do a stocking for each other and they usually open then with us girls in the bed with them, then we reopen our stockings in front of them to share all our joy offer the new goodies. Then it would be up to shower and clean up… no presents until rooms were tidy, breakfast was eaten, and everyone was dressed for the day (with time we have pushed this rule a bit). Then into the living room that would be full of color and good smells. The fire would be burning and the dogs yapping away with all the excitement. There would be glasses of champagne with strawberries and a Christmas cheers. There would be Christmas decorations everywhere strewn with my mother’s signature fairies and goblins. Christmas in my house has always been a playground for the fantastical. Then the mayhem of presents would begin and against all logic it seems that the amount just seems to get bigger every year no matter what age we are. Then we would do fashion shows in the living room and eventually haul our loot upstairs and lay it out in our rooms to admire to days later when my mother would insist we put it away. Some years we go see a movie; some times we just open up the bottles of wine early and curl up at home, usually watching National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation. It could tell this year was no different the joy and spirit touched me all the way across the ocean. The best part of Christmas had always been to share it with them so contemplating open the presents they had sent me on my own in my room, was the most horrible prospect. Thankfully I didn’t have to, we stuck to tradition and I got to open my presents with my family thanks to a little technological help. With speakerphone used on both ends I could share my joy with them as I opened beautiful tops, jewelry, and some fun makeup. All I’m told are to be reserved for went I’m in town and are designed to make me feel good and get me in to some trouble. I think I will have no problem. It was a wonderful memory and I’m so glad I got to have a little bit of Christmas here in Samoa. It was very hard, on both sides, to know that they were altogether going through our rituals with out me. We all knew that I was there in spirit and it gave me so much joy to know they were together having so much fun. I can’t wait to do Christmas all together in New Zealand together; the plans are already in motion.