1. Instead of being annoyed when people ask for your address, you get excited because it means you may actually get a few Christmas cards at your new house.
2. You wrapped most of your gifts using clear packing tape. It was readily available and besides, no one will notice, right? The regular tape could not be located and you refused to purchase more because you were sure you remembered having several rolls somewhere -- seven months ago when you packed up your old house.
3. This holiday season is stressful in different ways. Like not knowing where to buy a box of donuts for your coworkers the last week of work. (Poplar Bluff really needs a Dunkin Donuts.)
4. You were overjoyed to finally be out of all the boxes. Until, a few days later, you were wrapping a pile of gifts that needed to be shipped in ... Boxes.
5. You are tempted to purchase gifts of athletic gear emblazoned with the new college logo and mascot where your husband is now working. Then you remember that your relatives' closets are already full of outdated baseball t-shirts and ball caps from the other teams your husband has coached in recent years. Maybe they don't need those black and gold plaid pajama pants after all ...
6. You are trying out new recipes this holiday season, for dishes and deserts that you'd never heard of a few months ago, like Ooey, Gooey Butter Cake.
7. The pressure to keep your four year-old from sharing the secret that Santa is NOT REAL is HUGE. You and your husband are still attempting to make friends in this town.
8. Your weekends are unusually quiet. Out to a nice dinner with the husband and kids the final Saturday before Christmas, you can't help but thinking about all the Christmas parties you have missed this year. Looking around at the other people in the restaurant you ask yourself, "Do these people not have friends either?"
9. You are irritated and shocked that people (like the pleasant folks at the post office) who really should know that "ME" stands for Maine and "MA" is the abbreviation for Massachusetts, do not! C'mon people.
10. Though you are happy not to be traveling hundreds and hundreds of miles this Christmas, your heart is hurting for all the hugs and happiness you will miss back home.