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?
34 thoughts on “Happy Christmas”
Crazy Health Lady
Sounds like we are kindred spirits, Brittany! I’ve also noticed an uptick in anxiety when I’ve indulged in too many Christmas treats – definitely not a coincidence!
I like to think it keeps me in check, too many indulgences and my mind whips me back to reality.
Ack. I hate the whole gift giving thing. I am the world’s worst shopper, especially when I am shopping for Mrs. Rootchopper who doesn’t need a thing. I did manage to pull a Duncan of sorts though. My wife was going to a get together and needed to bring appetizers. Despite the fact that she has beaucoup cookbooks, she had not a one devoted to small bites and appetizers. Heh. Heh. I jumped on it and bought her a book entitled 500 Appetizers. Mission Accomplished.
Have a Happy New Year.
What a thoughtful gift! I’m with you, I hate gift giving, but more so with relation to holidays. It feels like pressure. A just because gift like a nice book, or a favorite candy bar is the same kind of thoughtfulness I’m trying to convey. Either way we both came out on top. I felt heard, and you gave your wife something meaningful!
Whay a great gift: the gift of Duncan’s attention, with those pretty earrings as a warm reminder when anxiety or self-doubt kicks in.
As for that cat? Hope he had fun! 😂
The cat walked back into the house like he’d seen a lifetime of chaos. I’m sure he loved it. 🤣
Good job to Duncan!!
Gift giving is also a struggle of mine and my partner loves doing it, so our first few Christmases brought some anxiety in that way. But I am grateful for her insight to the meaning she gets from gifts (both giving and receiving), and it’s taught me a lot! It’s the thoughtfulness that always gets to me, and I’ve started seeing gifts as reminders that I’m loved – no matter what they are. (and yes, the Christmas cookies and sugar got to me too – it’s so hard to avoid!)
I love this comment! It’s like you wrote it from a combined brain of mine and Duncans. He definitely gets anxiety I think with giving a gift, so that’s why this meant so much more to me. I’m glad you have found a place to both accept them and give them. I think if we look at a gift as more than what society has made them to be, a gift is anything that can brighten someone’s day. Even something like a flower picked from the woods because it reminded you of someone. ☺️
I totally agree, and I’ve seen that the more I look at things that way, the more I enjoy the so-called ‘little things’ of life. There are so many gifts around us if we want to see them.
Amen, and thank you for the reminder.
I am not a fan of Christmas. I spend it alone, as I do all holidays. What Duncan did was awesome! I had a short black coffee yesterday at a Starbucks in Tucson and it cost $3.35 plus tax! Ack! I wish you a great 2023. 🙂
There are certainly some years I wish I could just skip over the holiday, truth be told most of them I am only participating for my mom. Otherwise I am mostly indifferent.
UGH! I remember when a short coffee was under $2!! I don’t remember what I paid for mine (I also got a short), but I know it wasn’t under $2.
Myself and my wife are together almost 25 years now and we have a good system for birthdays and Christmas. We buy ourselves something special or expensive that we really want but wouldn’t normally buy. It removes the pressure of getting that special gift but we also get what we really want. Doesn’t sound very romantic when I write it down but it’s working for use 🙂
I think this is great, especially for married couples! When the money is more shared it just makes sense.
Yeah, we’re not one of those couples with separate accounts, we share it all, not that it’s a whole lot mind 🤣
My cousin did something similar to what Duncan did for you!! I mentioned wayyyy back in August that I always wanted a LEGO set for Christmas, but for years, my brother always ended up getting them. (Not me!) I was envious, but it usually worked out alright because he’d ask me for help and didn’t complain when I ended up putting together almost the entire kit.
This year, when we opened our gifts, my parents and brother each received a t-shirt… But when it was my turn, I unwrapped a small LEGO set. It was simple — nothing fancy or expensive! — but the mere fact that my cousin listened to my side comment and remembered it FOUR months later when my aunt was buying Christmas gifts… That was the best gift I received this year, the gift of being acknowledged and heard. 🙂
So glad you had a good Christmas — and I hope you have a wonderful New Year’s Eve too, Brittany!! ♡
AMY!! This lego story is so sweet. I wish you would have received a set when you were younger, but perhaps your parents were always anticipating what was meant to happen – you putting together your brothers set. LOL.
I think it means that much more opening one as an adult after all those years, what a kind gesture this was.
My NYE was very low key. I was asleep just after 10. I woke up briefly to fireworks going off, and fell right back asleep.
It’s so true about meaning a lot more now, as an adult. There’s the fun of the actual gift PLUS the the kind thoughtfulness behind it. ♡ I’m a big fan of low key New Year’s Eves too! We usually celebrate at 9 pm with the East Coast and then go to bed. 😉
How sweet!!! It truly is those surprises that make you feel all sorts of good. I’ve always loved receiving gifts like that, even if they were “small”.
I resonate with this post a lot—also dealing with anxiety right now, and I am also very minimalistic in my tendencies! Thankfully al ot of my friends are cool with not doing gift exchanges haha. But if I see something that reminds me of someone or am in the creative spirt to make someone a card or project that shows them I’m thinking of them, I don’t mind the splurge in money or time!
Gifts usually make me so uncomfortable, but I definitely loved this one! LOL.
My friends are also cool with me not giving gifts, not that I have many around me these days. Most of my friends I would enjoy spending time with live far away, which makes it that much easier to not give gifts.
and yes, same about seeing a gift or wanting to make something. I will 10000% buy something just because over buying something based off of a holiday when I find something. I also can’t wait long before giving a gift, so buying it and waiting for a holiday is torture!
Some Small Things
The earrings made me cry, the cat story stressed me out then made me smile with his sauntering in, and my anxiety is off the charts due to Covid. Getting Covid made me absolutely nuts. So irrational and I made everyone miserable around me. Feel so bad.
Always enjoy your blog. Happy new year!
Your comment made me smile. Sorry for the unwarranted anxiety about my cat, he is such a little devil. I type this as he sits next to me staring longingly for some love. He is so spoiled.
I have also noticed my anxiety has become progressively worse with Covid. It started with feeling anxious about how people in the world started to act (unkind, unpredictable), and then I got Covid (twice) and my body hasn’t felt the same since. I wonder if some of this lingering anxiety has to do with getting the virus. My other symptoms flare up more at times.
Who knows. It’s all wild. I empathize with you thinking you are making people around you nuts. Duncan has to talk to me off a ledge often (I do it for him as well, dating another person with anxiety is no easy feat), but I am working on being able to talk myself off again like the good old days. Ohhh the glamorous life of an over thinker.
Couldn’t agree more on eating clean and well – I’ve never felt better since going vegan. Ah, Waterford Crystal! I remember the old factory/visitor centre at Kilbarry. These days most of their stuff is made overseas, not the same really.
That’s what Duncan said, he had to dig to find these from an Irish gift shop so they could actually come from Ireland. What a shame!
What a great gift, the earrings!!!
I know, I’m SOOO not a jewelry gal, but these are the BEST gift.
There really is something about those Starbuck’s holiday cups!!!
Such a fun blog post. Wow, I think I somehow lost track of your blog over the years, but I remember reading it so faithfully in the past. Happy to have found it again, so that I can read and follow along in your adventures!!
That’s what I thought too when I saw yours. I saw your comment on Allie’s blog and got so excited. 💃🏻
I’m SO glad that we found each other’s blogs again!!! Or, well, more accurately, you found mine first via Allie. But I’m very excited! I recognized your name and photo instantly! 🙂
Go Duncan! Such a thoughtful gift. And your cat!! What a stinker.
Starbucks still has their holiday cups going on right now and they still make me so happy!!
Ok that’s my sign to go get one more coffee at Starbucks…
Yup!! This is your sign.. go!