I've been wanting to write a blog about Christmas for a couple days now but I've been swamped with work - I'm literally working every day but New Years Eve/Day this week. But its okay, I love my store up here and I definitely need the money.
Christmas this year was really different, really humbling. My brother and sister were both not there for the actual holiday, and they won't be up until the second weekend in January. My brother went to Connecticut with his new fiance, having an engagement party with all of her family over there and such. My sister spent her first Christmas married with her new husband at home in San Diego. So that left little ol' Lora and the rents (not to mention Moose, he definitely made his presence known) alone for the holidays. I think it was honestly the first Christmas I can remember being without both of my siblings, usually its one or the other. Now not only that, but our family decide that this year we were going to do a secret-santa type gift exchange to save money since everyone was a little short (thanks economy). Meaning, I opened my stocking on Christmas and got a few little things, but nothing big until January. And even then , the gift is meant to be more sentimental than driven from something I actually want. So, it was a little weird, needless to say. Not only did I get practically nothing, but I didn't have the same feel Christmas usually gave me, my sister assuming her second mother role and running her fingers through my hair while helping my mom and hogging the shower - my brother keeping my dad company as the second male and keeping us all laughing (and stinking up the bathroom with his expensive cologne). I woke up instead to jinglebells and my mom singing (not abnormal actually), orange danish and a big bear hug from my dad.
I'm weird about change, I love new things so much but only when the change is in my favor I'm finding haha. This holiday change wasn't really in my favor, so I was a little skeptical as the morning progressed. But I found myself utterly content with the small gifts my mother thoughtfully put together and felt even better watching my parents read the letters and listen to the mix cds I made them (last minute gift.. I figured they were giving me small things so I should too) There's something about thanking someone or appreciating them that I think is not only so important but so gratifying.
As I dozed off to sleep on the couch after breakfast, Christmas music floating around in the background, I had made my mind up about this Christmas - it wasn't so awful after all.
My Grandmom came over for a wonderful ham, potato, green beans, and mandarin salad dinner and after we were all finished, my mom asked her about some of her Christmas memories. She had some good ones, little stories about snow on Christmas, one time when she was sick, and then finally she talked about Christmas her junior year of high school. She was dating my Pop Pop (who passed away last January) then, and she told us this story about how they were walking home from midnight mass and he walked her to her enclosed porch, where her Christmas tree was and gave her her gifts - a hair pin, a tiny bottle of chanel perfume (which was hard to come by in those years) and as he was giving her those gifts he said - "These are gifts for my girlfriend". Then, he got down on one knee and said, "This is a gift for my future wife" and proposed ! And all the lights on the tree came on, and the lights inside went on once she accepted and her whole family was watching. It wasn't just the story that touched me , it was the way my Grandmom told it - she got so choked up and literally started sobbing after she had finished, yet she had a smile on her face. Me being the emotional well I am of course got equally choked up and we all hugged her.
That was better than any gift I could have gotten, that moment - my whole family hugging her and us all just sniffling, living in that memory of her and my grandfather.
So, in a way, I was disappointed at first with this year's Christmas. I actually need a lot of things - my boots are all holey and I'm out of my perfume and a lot of makeup. But do I REALLY need it? No. I am making more than enough money over break to buy myself the things I need. What I really needed was a reality check - that Christmas was not about me, and I certainly got it.
I feel so strange. I've haven't really felt the need to change myself in a long time - and especially in this last year, I made no apologies for the way I lived my life. But I feel pretty different about all that now. I'm honestly so content with where I've ended up, even though there are many things if I could change, I would. But I'm honestly striving to be better in so many aspects of my life. Regardless if I announce them, there are things I know I want to improve on that I'm working on in silence. I just spent an hour in a hot bath reading and thinking, and I just love that even though there are very few people in San Ramon I care about seeing anymore, I couldn't care less! I used to get so anxious about going out and doing something and whatever, but now I am simply happy with curling up in bed and watching a movie or reading. I miss fullerton only because of my friends and my classes.
Anyway, this is a huge rambling blog. I really wanted to talk about Christmas and the way I've been feeling lately , which is really damn good. :) I'm so ready for this new year to begin, and I will be greeting it with open arms.