I don’t know how it works in your relationships, but Zsolt and I once upon a time made a ‘Christmas Deal’ in terms of families. We were meant to alternate between families and countries, so one year in Canada with my clan, and the next year in Hungary with his. Very fair.
The first year after our marriage (since we were married in Canada) we spent Christmas in Hungary. And OH MY GOODNESS, I was miserable. That was my first Christmas away, and it was like ripping off a bandage that had adhere to my skin with super-duper glue. Ouch. Don’t get me wrong – the situation was fantastic: amazing food, white fluffy snow, winter markets, his parents happy, family visiting, people drinking in abundance coupled with bread and paprika kolbasz . . . I was just sick through all of it with a high fever and a case of not-home-heart-break.
During the following year and a bit, I was diagnosed with cancer, Zsolt graduated his PhD, we immigrated our butts back to Canada, and have been here for the holidays since (Two years in a row, 3 for me since Z and I parted the first X-mas after diagnosis).
In theory were are due to travel to Hungary this year and spend Christmas with his family.
In reality, we’re staying here. (Work obligations)
But that doesn’t mean we won’t miss his parents, sister and friends. We’ll miss them like crazy.
Anyhow, this year at the shesconnected conference in Toronto, I was given a 20 dollar voucher from Elephoto after I assaulted their booth on the hunt for photo calendars and nearly cried all over a lovely representative of the company while telling her how, back when I was having chemotherapy and was filled with dread and desperation, photo books had this way of reminding me of better times. (I’ve been making photo books for years, collecting our vacations together into these little booklets of memories. Ever since leaving England I’ve been seeking out another company from which to order, and so when I heard Elephoto is Canadian – I hunted them down to see what they offered, and check the quality of their prints.)
Why does this tie into Christmas?
Because I reckon if we can’t be there with Zsolt’s family, we’re going to send them some happy memories and let them know that more good times are going to come. (Sometimes when I find a gift I know will make people cry in a good way, I quietly pat myself on the back for the awesome idea. 😉 )
Therefore, I went to Elephoto the other day and uploaded several images for a Samson Family photo calendar. (Don’t worry, they don’t read this blog since it’s in English, so the present won’t be ruined.) After playing around with the interface for a while, making the photos do what I wanted rather than what the template wanted (a little tricky, but doable), I clicked through with the order. We received the calendar in the mail about 2 days ago, and I’m entirely pleased. The paper is a good, heavy quality without being a squeaky photo paper, and all our ‘Samson Family Photos from Balaton, Pecs, Budapest and Hungary with his parents and sister and brother in law’ are all there for 12 months of memories. It’s going to be a hit.
So, thank you very much to Elephoto for letting me try your calendar, and for giving me this lovely gift that I can now pass on to others.
Now, in the meanwhile it’s back to Christmas shopping and gathering more ideas for awesome presents. I doubt anything will be as touching or tear-jerking as the calendar, but I’m going to give it a shot!
(And next week I go Holiday shopping with my little brother, which I’m totally stoked about . . . I’m even thinking of stopping with him for hot chocolate somewhere in the market to celebrate the festiveness, if he tolerates the idea.)
Now to end this post, I’d like to know: how do you balance family obligations at Christmas? Anyone have some golden rule, magical transporter device, or no-fail formula they follow?
Please, share your wisdom and/or transporter designs in the comments. 😉