I am going to sound like a broken record by saying this, but I cannot believe Christmas has come and gone. Every year it seems to get a little worse, where I struggle to get fully into the spirit of the holiday. I know Christmas is meant to be more than what we have commercialized it to be, and as someone who dreads the whole gift giving aspect of things I try to find my joy in other ways.
I love the colors, the lights, the food, the treats, the time off, and the time with family. My family is small, and most holidays have been spent with my mom and my older sister. The three of us have found a good rhythm in life, but I often daydream of celebrating holidays with a large group of humans. The older I get the more I crave a solid community to lean on.
The last time I truly felt the spirit of the season was when I worked for Starbucks, there is just something about those holiday cups.
I indulged in one black coffee out of the above holiday cup this year, and it most certainly tasted better than drinking out of a traditional white cup. I often miss being a barista, but it’s around the holidays when I reaalllyyy miss it. Alas, I do not miss large corporations moving away from human connection and moving closer to people in people out. I must be destined for a small mom and pop coffee shop, or my own coffee shop…
My Christmas was lovely, a low key day with family. Duncan and I enjoyed a mimosa with his mom and grandma before going to my moms for dinner. A salmon feast with plenty of Lindt truffles fueled the night, and for good reason. My small black cat escaped just as Duncan and I were leaving for the evening, leading to a good cop, bad cop like chase through the woods. I realize chasing is never the answer, and ultimately we had to wait for him to come back.
And come back he did, sauntering in like a drowned rat as if nothing happened. Little shit.
My run streak is still going, although as I get closer to the restart of my monthly cycle I want to run less. So most days during the week leading up to my cycle I will likely be running one mile. Anything to get the body moving? These days I appreciate the movement because I have been eating as if all hell broke loose. I try to give myself more grace this time of year to be a bit flexible with my diet, but as someone who is genuinely affected by the foods I consume I need to reel it in.
My anxiety has been off the charts this month and it’s no doubt because of what I have been eating. I have everyday background noise anxiety, but throw in some gluten, sugar, and dairy and it’s like opening a flood gate. Indulging here and there is one thing, but those holiday treats have kicked me down the rabbit hole. If you are someone who struggles with anxiety like me I highly recommend paying attention to what you eat.
I don’t have any regrets, I enjoyed the hell out of this holiday season with the good foods, but I am ready to feel more centered.
I briefly mentioned earlier I struggle with the gift giving aspect of Christmas. I have a strong aversion to clutter, and there is very rarely anything that I “need” these days. I am much more of an experiences as gifts type of person, as well as gift cards. You can never go wrong with a gift card. The irony is that I do enjoy GIVING gifts, but I like to think I am good at getting people things they need and perhaps would not buy for themselves. Like an electric toothbrush (one of the gifts I gave Duncan last year.)
This year Duncan and I agreed on skipping the gift giving, but then about a week before Christmas he let slip that he got me something small.
Last month when Duncan and I were driving to his parents house for Thanksgiving dinner, we began talking about my trip to Ireland in 2017. I mentioned to him how I visited The House of Waterford Crystal, and was able to go on a tour to learn more about the crystal making process. As I was leaving the tour through the gift shop, I noticed a pair of crystal stud earrings I fell in love with.
At the time I could not justify buying them, I already had a few souvenires, but it was something I had regretted to this day.
I told Duncan I wished I had bought the earrings because they would have been a great souvenir (something small) to remember my trip, and then we moved on to talk about other things. Lo and behold he took that conversation, and hunted down a pair of beautiful Waterford Crystal stud earrings. The package was literally from Ireland. These are the moments and gifts I will cherish forever.
I often feel that people don’t truly listen when I speak. I feel alone more times than not even when in a room full of people. I don’t typically feel understood and more times than not I feel like an outsider looking in. For someone to not only hear what I said in passing, but to act on what I said – I can’t put into words what this meant to me. It’s not the jewelry, or the shiny crystals, it’s the thoughtfulness.
Thoughtfulness far surpasses anything else in my book. Thank you Duncan, you really made my heart smile. And on that sappy note I bid you all adieu, until the next post. I wish everyone a happy and healthy transition into the new year.
Q: How was your holiday? If you don’t celebrate Christmas, did you get the day off?