Written by Zamara Perri
My honey and I knew it was not going to be a great Christmas. It was around 10 p.m. on Christmas Eve and my partner had been watching a movie downstairs while I was upstairs unable to sleep. I got up, threw on some tights, a tank top and a sweater then asked her to go for a ride with me.
I didn’t tell her what I had planned, but I made sure that we stopped by the gas station to fill up. Then we got on the highway. I asked her if she wanted to drive to New York, Washington, D.C., or to Maryland’s Eastern Shore. We finally decided to head toward the Eastern Shore as it was closer to our home in Baltimore. That began our very unorthodox Christmas.
Despite all the cheer and family fun they show on TV, Christmas can be a time of anxiety and stress for millions of people and it is no different for some of my fellow black lesbians. Last year, my honey spent Christmas with my family. They were not the most welcoming so she felt uncomfortable. This year we talked about inviting my mom and the rest of the family over for dinner, but they backed out. We were not big on going all out for the holidays and decided to spend a quiet holiday at home.
We ended up getting into a fight and so we weren’t feeling particularly jolly. I knew we needed a change of scenery. As we drove, she fell asleep. When she woke up it was midnight and I said, “Surprise! We are getting a hotel for the night.” At first she seemed confused, but is the adventurous type and decided to go with the flow.
We checked into a small hotel facing the water. Luckily because the hotel was pretty empty for the night, we were able get to a king-sized bedroom with a huge Jacuzzi tub and views of the water. We fell into a big, beautiful, super comfortable bed and slept peacefully. My partner, who normally has trouble sleeping, stayed asleep until around 9.
On Christmas morning, I went downstairs to the complementary breakfast buffet and brought us back toast, bagels, eggs, fruit, juice and coffee. Breakfast in bed was heavenly! Later on we got into the Jacuzzi together, which was amazing! We literally just relaxed all day. We only left the hotel to forage for Christmas dinner. She had Chinese and I had Indian food and we shared a bottle of wine.
My partner accused me of kidnapping her, but in the end agreed that our little getaway made for a great Christmas. During those two days, I learned the following invaluable lessons:
- A happy Christmas does not have to involve a lot of chaos and biological family. In her case, her biological family lives far away from her. In my case, my conservative family is still adjusting to the knowledge that I’m a lesbian. Forcing ourselves to participate in a traditional family Christmas setting would not have been fun for either of us. We had so much more fun hanging out in a hotel suite on Christmas in a near empty hotel.
- Unplugging is a great way to recharge your relationship. My partner, who loves Facebook and takes a lot of business calls from morning until night, left her phone at home. I stayed off Facebook, didn’t return any phone calls and only a few text messages. Because of that, we were able to talk to each other, uninterrupted, about some really important issues that we hadn’t taken time to address.
- Vacations can help keep relationships healthy. To be quite honest, my honey and I talk about having date days, but often other things get in the way. Being alone gave us time to open up and hear each other. Getting out of our home, away our friends, family and other distractions showed us just how important it is for us to relax and have fun with each other. She loved being surprised! We are already planning to go away for next Christmas and are going to make sure we enjoy a couples-only, getaway weekend every quarter.
Instead of getting lost in the hustle and bustle of doing Christmas the way everyone else expected us to, our non-traditional Christmas reminded me of why I love this woman and definitely drew us closer.
We’d love to know how you spent your Christmas. Tell us in the comments below!