merry christmas

True story: Only made it to 3 out of 5 of the houses. Late nights and all the running around worsened my sinuses and sore throat, and I’m now propped up in bed.

 

True story: Someone bought us a TV, and we don’t know what to do. Update forthcoming.

 

Despite all the racing around, very good times on Friday and Saturday.

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compromise.

I feel funny less than 24 hours later blogging about the same thing, but here it is. Husband came home about a hour after I had jotted down the last blog, and we talked about the issues. The main thing is that we both hate wasting gas and money driving all over the place. Literally, this upcoming weekend will probably set us back $75+. It is very frustrating.

I couldn’t stop thinking about how during Engaged Encounter, the lead couples talked about how when we got married, we started a family right there, even with just the two of us. Then I thought about how Husband and I spend all our holidays running around between houses, trying to appease everyone with even an appearance for a hour or two.

Husband brought up an excellent point, “Are we going to keep running around even when we have kids? You know they will expect to see them every holiday.”

I didn’t have an answer.

 

So we came up with this solution, to settle ourselves at least for this year. House number 4 out of 5 (which we didn’t want to go to, but are being told to go to) we will visit when we are good and ready — and not immediately after we drop off Stepson, as was demanded of us.

Also, we’re not visiting anyone at Easter. We’re planning to go to Mass Easter morning, and then brunch somewhere, but that’s it. We want one holiday out of the year where our family can sit, relax, and enjoy ourselves, and not be trapped in a car for half the day.

 

I honestly feel better about the holiday already. I feel more open to it, and a bit more zen about all the running around knowing that the next holiday brings none of it. Also, our New Year’s Eve three day weekend has been declared a lounge, activity free weekend, so I’m excited for that too after the Christmas rush.

bah humbug?

I feel excellent about Advent. Want to make that clear.

Not feeling so chummy with Christmas, though.

I think it’s because I’ve been asked several times what I’m getting Husband for Christmas, and we aren’t getting each other anything. Haven’t, actually, since we started dating. We aren’t present people. We don’t get each other presents for anything. Usually just a card. I like that. What I don’t like is the response to my answer, which is usually something about money. And it has nothing to do with money.

Also, we are visiting five houses in two and a half days and spending roughly eight to nine hours in the car over the weekend. That doesn’t really sound like Christmas to me. That sounds like a road trip, or Amazing Race. (Also spending the 23rd night and 24th night at other people’s houses, and asked if we would like to do the same on the 25th. Basically asked to not be at home at all over Christmas.)

Then there’s the fact that our apartment is barren of Christmas decoration, and we’ve already been berated twice for this. We’re not home 3 out of 4 weekends this month. When are we putting them up, anyway? Or enjoying them?

Finally, there is the pushing. The pushing that we have to visit everyone — even people we have already visited previously in the month to make up for not being there on Christmas. The idea that Husband and I can’t choose for ourselves where to go, but will be told where to go. How old are we again?

I am looking forward to church on Christmas Eve. The one hour of the weekend that’s not about pleasing other people. That’s about it.

Christmas Short.

I decided. I decided that whatever I had worked on earlier was crap, and that I truly, truly needed to immerse myself in something that was not forced crap, because writers don’t just write one month out of the year, and I cringe to think that I have been allowing myself to slack, yes slack, for so long JUST CAUSE.

so i wrote this

Live Blog.

Yes. Again.

7:24 am: Woke up, did not want to get up up, pulled in laptop to bed to watch YouTube videos.

9:20 am: Woke up from apocolypse nightmare. Put on Adele, check out Mass Times, Facebook, and various other blogs. No one updates over the weekend and that kind of bugs me. But sometimes they surprise me, hence the check through.

9:49 am: Decide to live blog, to motivate myself to write some time today. Also get a little grumpy thinking about last night. We hung out with someone who is normally cheerful and conversational, and he was the complete opposite last night and combative to boot. What? Definitely got me thinking and a little pissy, tbh.

9:51 am: I need food.

9:57 am: Munching french toast sticks and checking out Brookfield Zoo’s Holiday Magic. Really want to see this later.

10:25-11:47 am: Church. Now hungry again … and maybe starting to think about writing.

12:00 pm: Um … Just got to watch the documentary For the Bible Tells Us So.

3:00 pm: And … maybe I’ll watch the Community Christmas episode?

3:33 pm: And I guess Parks and Rec too …

4:10 pm: One more Parks and Rec … purely out of boredom …

4:35 pm: Oh, Brookfield Zoo time? Okay.

7:30 pm: Probably should start writing … just a little Internet searching first …

8:28 pm: Okay. Going to sit and write for the next half hour, no excuses.

 

1961 / 15000 words. 13% done!

Inspire.

In an effort to procrastinate writing further, but pretending like I wasn’t, I immersed myself into other things last night. First of all, I became obsessed with the song Set Fire to the Rain by Adele.

Then I laid in the dark, snuggled with Husband, and listened to the entirety of Josh Groban’s Noel.  I love it because it is ninety percent religious music. I also love doing nothing else but simply being with my husband. That kind of non-distracted silence allows the feelings to dredge up, the good kind, and it’s good to take the time and embrace them. When you see someone every day, it’s important to take separate time to see them as well.

Listening to his Christmas album for the first time this year definitely put me in the Christmas mood. So Husband and I packed ourselves into the car and drove through our neighborhood to look at any and all Christmas lights, then through downtown via State Street and back out via Michigan Avenue. I love the lights, busyness, and architecture of downtown. I love being so close to it all.

Still in the car, as the clock ticked past eleven o’clock, Husband and I headed up Lake Shore to Evanston, swung through the downtown en route to the very expensive neighborhoods of Kenilworth and Wilmette.

My God, these houses. Mansions, all lined up in a row. Mercedes and BMWs, all lined up in a row. Beautiful Christmas lights, strung off the edges, entire yards decorated (by the help, Husband speculated), and even one house had a ten foot Christmas tree in their front yard, decked to the nines in splendor.

It was breath taking and intimidating all at the same time. And then I thought, what would it be like to live here? What kind of pressures await the children born in these houses? Husband mentioned boarding schools and Yale hopefuls, but all I could think of was late night movies with friends, and dates with crushes. Does any of that happen here? Are these streets always so empty? Is anyone sneaking out of these houses into freedom?

The inevitable question of, these people appear to have it all, but do they really?