This will be my last Christmas Obsessing Post, I promise, but I really wanted to share my awesome Christmas story. For years now I have been filled with disappointment over Christmas. My family, all of whom I love and get along with, cannot have a calm and pleasant Christmas. They just can't. I think maybe it is too many assertive people in one place, but the bottom line is that Christmas starts with buying crap for people just to buy something and ends in bickering and returns to Macy's.
My entire purpose in uprooting my life in Philadelphia and coming home was to be with my family. September 11 changed my values. Seeing my panicked NYC native friends looking for their loved ones, unable to get back to the city was horrifying. This isn't to say that I'm afraid the same thing would happen here, but part of me just realized that I needed to go home; that becoming a fancy NYC lawyer would not bring me the satisfaction and joy that I require in life.
Since I've been here I've made amazing friends and become even closer to my Uncle, Auntie, cousin Sean, and Grandparents. I am glad that I made the choices that I did.
But Christmas has been a colossal blunder every year. Fights, boredom, general discord, and of course my continued kitchen slavery have made everyone not look forward to Christmas at all. Maybe it is because we have too few children to sustain the magic, I don't know. Every year I've come up with a new plan to improve Christmas- this year's was a zen-like mantra: it is one sucky day out of 365 perfectly fine ones, suck it up and walk it off. This mantra is not really effective though, because I know that Christmas does not have to suck.
This year something new happened. I was invited to join a Christmas party held by a group of friends that I had not really gotten to know until the last few months. We had a full Christmas dinner (which I did not cook), a present exchange (in which people actually put forth effort to buy a gift that would actually be appreciated), and time afterwards to loll around and play games. I know I was hard to shop for since not everyone in the group knows me too well, and I decided to make treat boxes since I also was not certain of what to get everyone and wanted to give them something that I at least had to put effort into. (In related news I may not make another cookie until next December.) But it was not the presents which were important, this time it was actually the thought that counted.
This is the best Christmas I have ever had. There is something beautiful about a group of people who actually care about each other and can show it so perfectly by treating each other with such care and respect. This was the Christmas I have been waiting for, one that made me laugh for no reason, and one which I was sorry to see end. This is how Christmas should be.
I want to thank you guys for giving me the best present I've ever received: a perfect Christmas.