Christmas is my favourite celebration of the year. I love that it brings people together and is a cosy and cheery old time (well apart from the expected family arguments!). I wouldn’t miss it for the world but this last Christmas I was very nearly snowed out of the festivities! For many A Christmas Carol turned to A Christmas Chaos!
A snowy winter took the UK by ‘surprise’ and as usual everything came to a halt. Traffic slid off roads, trains froze up, and airports were grounded – leaving passengers in a fix all around the world.
Flying from a Winter Wonderland, where the snow comes up to your waist and cars, airports and life in general carry on without a fuss, the commotion back home resembled a pantomime. Of course the Russians, being used to extreme winters, are well prepared for snowfall, getting geared up from the start of November. They don’t leave it to the last minute and never underestimate the harshness and dangers winter weather brings.
With the UK in a holy mess, expats were at a loose end. Only a miracle would get me to my grandma’s yummy Christmas dinner on time. As the last to leave Moscow out of my friends, their ordeals further dampened my hope of making it home. Some had camped at the airport for hours determined to get a flight. Others cancelled, rescheduled, cancelled, and finally got some wings. By the time it was my turn to brave the journey, I was sure to be doomed. But just like magic, the wind changed and whisked me off. Domodedovo, instead of being a hub of stranded strangers, was running as smooth as ever. The backlog of cancelled flights had cleared by Christmas Eve, so I breezed onto the plane with a huge sigh of relief.
However, on arrival at Heathrow, the Christmas spirit had vanished. There were no welcoming jingle bells but a ghostly sight instead.
The baggage hall was a desert of orphaned suitcases, some going round and round aimlessly on the conveyor belt while the Baggage Service phones echoed out with no reply. I thought of all the unopened, missing xmas presents left behind and felt lucky I’d made it, luggage and all.
Waking up the next morning to a dreamy white scenery outside and the aromas of a delicious dinner inside, the Christmas Chaos melted away. It certainly was a treat to be home and a Merry Little Christmas after all!