Christmas here, there and everywhere

© Jessie Kanelos Weiner
© Jessie Kanelos Weiner

My family has been through an international Diaspora since I packed my bags for Paris. As foolish as it sounds, Istanbul is the most convenient place for all of us to camp out for the holidays.  With my parents in Japan, my brother in Turkey, and me in France, the idea of home has never been as perplexing. It makes myself equally as interesting and pretentious introducing myself at aperos.  But without Chicago as a home base, even on bad days, I never consider packing my bags and buying a one-way ticket back to an Italian beef sandwich.   But thankfully, my roots have grown much deeper in Paris.  Since comfort has finally outweighed insecurity, I suppose Paris is officially my home.

Albeit wrangling a phone book of photocopies for my visa renewal rendezvous, I was missing mon mari’s bank statements from November and December 2011.  Hence, the Prefecture can conclude that we are neither married nor living together. With the next available rendezvous in February, I am trapped in the EU until then. Our Kanelos Kristmas™ is postponed.  Yes, no Yuletide pillow sprawling, tea sipping, Turkish delight deciphering and Midwest dreaming.

“I’ll be home for Christmas” and “Have yourself a merry little Christmas” are no longer department store seasonal sludge.  They tell my story.  But enough self-pity. I have committed to making this Christmas a good one.  I already exhausted Sufjan Steven’s new Christmas album on mon mari’s twee-resistant ears.  The halls will be decked!  The vin chaud will run like the River Jordan!  I will finally attempt the kitsch-iest dessert since the Baked Alaska, the bûche de Noël!  Although nothing can replace the presents presence of my family during the holidays, every cookie I bake, every wreath I hang and every spontaneous, short-lived Messiah sing-along (note: twee AND opera-resistant ears), will be a sweet reminder of them.  And I will anticipate the mystery destination of our next holidays together.

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  1. thefrancofly says:

    Thank you very much, Janet. I sincerely appreciate it.

    Much love from Paris,

  2. Janet Traylor says:

    Sometimes distance sharpens the lens of love. Wishing you happy holidays, and thanking you for your year-long gift of the blog. Janet Traylor (in the warm embrace of Phoenix, Arizona, USA)

  3. Jessie, I just returned from my first Thanksgiving in the States in five years. It was wonderful but that means that there is no hope whatsoever of Christmas altogether…that means it will just be my “little family” of my honey, my pupper and me. And that’s ok too. But I will join you in a sniffle fest during “I’ll be home for Christmas” anytime. 😉 I am about to start decorating our Christmas “tree” (let’s just say we went the arty route this year) and will be breaking out the holiday music–hooray!!!

  4. I wish I could come hang out with you!

  5. thefrancofly says:

    Hi Carol,

    I wish it were that simple. : /

    Happy holidays.

  6. Carol Scott says:

    Hi! I don’t understand, cant you show them your marriage license and get a copy of the bank statement? Just wondering…. Wishing you well and really enjoying the blog!!!!!!!!! Love, Carol

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