My December has been a whirlwind of exam preparation and paper writing thus far. But I like having so much academia this time of year – it distracts me from the mess that is Christmas.
(photo courtesy of The Consummate Button Pusher)
To be certain, I love the weeks leading up to December 25th. I appreciate any holiday that encourages folks to douse their homes in frivolous decoration. I have a genuine love of Christmas music – much to the chagrin of those around me – and can’t wait to get a tree that will fill my house with great smells and pine needles (which will inevitably become lodged in every pair of socks I own).
So what are my issues with Christmas?
For starters, my biological date of birth is December 23rd. I love the month, I love the number 23, and I love the way “12/23/85” looks when it’s necessary I scribble it on official forms. I hate having a birthday overshadowed by Christmas. It’s not that I care about the lack of presents I receive – far from it, in fact. I just got tired of people forgetting my birthday. No one wants to celebrate with me when they’re broke and tired from holiday preparation, which I understand. That’s why my brother and I traded birthdays! You can read all about it here. Now I don’t have to worry about having a pesky Christmas birthday. My anxiety is much lower than usual this time of year knowing I have the luxury of spending that entire day as if it was any other – hooray!
Aside from my birthday woes, I get terrifically disheartened about consumerism in the United States this time of year. I’m always aware of the fiendish, fervent shopping habits of Americans, but it’s the worst in December. I am so lucky to have a family that has given up gift giving. Instead, we bake each other delicious things and hang out together on Christmas. My parents donate the money they once spent on our Christmas gifts to a charity of my mother’s choosing, and we’re all relieved that we don’t have to fight crowds to shop for each other. People are aghast when I tell them that my family doesn’t exchange gifts (“What do you even do on Christmas!?”), which, to me, highlights why’s it’s important to take a step back from the gift portion of the holidays and focus on the togetherness aspect.
Togetherness ties in perfectly with my last gripe about Christmastime: For all of my annoying, over the top love of holidays, I have few to share the season with. I’ll spare y’all the details, but Christmas is a painful reminder of all the people I want so badly to spend the holidays with but can’t. I try hard to focus on the amazing people I currently have in my life, but that doesn’t do much to take away the sting of missing others.
Once my school semester is over (at the end of next week), I have plenty of projects lined up to keep me busy over winter break. I have Russian and French to study, a scarf to knit, and a couple Dostoyevsky books to finish. Additionally, for the next several weeks, my brother and I are spending our Saturday afternoons in the kitchen where he’s teaching me to bake various breads. We started last weekend and he taught me how to make a versatile soda bread. Hopefully I can snap some photos next time and share our recipe for whatever type of bread we make.
Lastly, here are a couple of photos and one of my favorite Christmas songs to lighten this text-heavy post:
Pasta is best enjoyed out of Grandma’s old casserole dish.
One of the many scarves I’ll be toiling on…
I am probably the only adult on the planet who doesn’t loathe this song:
Josh and taking Teddy out for a romp around in the woods tomorrow, so I should have some somewhat interesting walking photos to post over the weekend. (Regularly scheduled Walkabout Wednesdays will resume after finals, assuming I survive without maiming myself and/or someone else). Also, to get myself in a more jolly mood, I’m planning a post of my favorite Christmas films that should appear sometime next week!