Christmas Decompression

I’m one of those people who likes Christmas, as long as it’s contained in the appropriate time frame. What I mean is, I hate when Christmas gets cheapened by department stores putting up displays and gifts after (or even before) Halloween. I’m a “one holiday at a time” kind of girl– that way, I can stay focused. Or something like that.

I listened to Christmas music almost all day, every day when one of the stations dropped its normal soft rock rotation for a 24/7 holiday blitz. I came to realize that I really dislike The Little Drummer Boy and that I really like the classic version of Here Comes Santa Claus. I also came to realize that there are too many of us who believe that Christmas is ruined if a gift is out of stock or doesn’t arrive in time.

I’m not sure if I ever felt dependent on a must-have gift on my Christmas list. I have many “would absolutely love you forever if you got this for me” items, don’t get me wrong, and maybe it’s just part of being grown-up, but I’d much rather spend time baking or eating food or playing cards or going on sleigh rides.

And even though I love getting in the Christmas spirit, I wasn’t bummed that my parents’ house wasn’t bursting at the seams with decorations. My mom apologized to me at one point, and I told her that it meant much more just to be home for the holiday. She also apologized for us not having that many presents, but it’s hard to get sheer volume under the tree when several things are true: 1. It’s only my mom, dad, and me in our household, and 2. Our wishlists are fairly concise (and sometimes boring).

Anyway, I suppose what I’m trying to say is, yeah, toys are great, but time with family and friends make my holidays now. I spent a full day with my parents and our family friends, then spent the day after Christmas with my boyfriend and his family. His family usually celebrates Christmas near my hometown, which works out quite nicely.

C took me on a sleigh ride while I was up in Leavenworth, and that was great. We glided across the snowy (yes, even though it was icy, old snow, it still counts) ground, with bells jingling on the horses and afternoon sunshine peeking over the mountains. I’d say it was picturesque, but more so than that, it was a very eastern Washington winter day.

Even more awesome: there were several cute dogs running around at the sleigh riding place, and I got to pet all of them. Yes, that’s a highlight. Oh, and the hot cider. That was tasty, too.

But all good things come to an end. My bus ride home was miserable. The heat was on too high, and everyone around me smelled awful– bad breath, unshowered, whatever it was, it was enough to give me a headache. It’s enough to make me never want to travel during peak times again.

I also learned that you should always listen to your mother. Once I told her I was safe back in Seattle, she told me to get some rest. I instead decided to wash the dishes. Well, that ended poorly– I broke another glass (third one in a week) and cut my arm on a shard. It was deep enough for me to call C and ask him, “So… at what point does a person need to get stitches?” It wasn’t bad enough for that, but it’s probably the worst cut I’ve had in recent memory.

To top it off, all I wanted to do tonight was watch Up and drink hot cocoa. I saved enough milk for cereal tomorrow and poured a bunch into a mug. As my clumsiness would have it, I knocked over the mug when I got it out of the microwave. I spent the next while cleaning up the table (and floor) and microwave, and then I decided I was going to give up for now.

So, here I am. Decompressing from the holiday cheer and the bummer of a day today was. At least this coming week is a short one for me– one of my best friends is getting married, and I’m a bridesmaid. It will be my first time as a bridesmaid since I was in 8th grade.

For now, take it easy. I’m off to hopefully not destroy everything I touch.

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