Setting aside a day like today is actually completely unnecessary, if you think about it. Why not make each other cards every day? Why not smile every second of EVERY day? Why not laugh until you cry whenever you can? (I clearly don’t have a problem with that at all) Why not eat Hershey’s kisses all the time, or chocolate in general for that matter?
So… why is today so special? Today is set aside for love, but every day should be set aside for love. Christmas is set aside for giving, but every day should be a day of giving. Easter is set aside for joy, but every day should be a day of joy. Thanksgiving is set aside to be a day of great thanks and appreciation, but shouldn’t every day be one of gratitude?… The only holiday I don’t understand is Halloween… because Halloween seems to be set aside for self-entertainment and greed… and every day should really be anything but that.
Anyway, we need these days, because in the midst of our bustling every day lives- our appointments, worries, events, meetings, To-do lists- we can’t possibly juggle the metaphysical too. A day each year to remind us of the things we should be thinking about- the attitudes that count and the qualities that are truly most important- is a day I’ll take. I don’t need today as an excuse to be loving and happy, but having today reminds me that life is a lot better than it seems 🙂
This Christmas was a good one. Even though it’s not quite over, it’s been really great so far! I didn’t feel the desire or need to form a list of things for others to get me, but rather went venturing out on Black Friday for the first time in my life to shop for my dearest friends and family. If I failed to get you a present, I am terribly sorry. It’s nothing personal whatsoever. It most likely signifies that I ran out of money before I got to you on the list.
But anyway, my point is, I wanted this Christmas to be completely about giving. I wanted my excitement to be founded in the generosity and love I would share with others, rather than an excitement in waiting to receive gifts for myself. So everything I got this Christmas was a total surprise. And I had a much better feeling afterwards. Every gift I received had more meaning, because each was something the person picked out for me, having to put thought into whether I would like it and what it would mean to me. They had no choice, considering they didn’t have a list they could mindlessly buy from.
Now, I’m sounding quite selfish right now. I realize that I’ve been talking about myself and how people had to shop for me, but I enjoy reflecting on how much more meaning this Christmas held because of that. I love every single thing I got from my family and friends because everything was a surprise and a gift of love. It was perfect, and I walked away happy. I came into it without expectation, and walked out with joy. This is a lesson I’ve learned many times and it’s one of my favorite pieces of wisdom. The expectations we form in our minds usually determine the outcome, so why expect anything?
Now I want to share with you a couple of my favorite gifts that I received today.
1. Tickets to the Trans-Siberian orchestra in concert on the 30th. My grandpa bought them for my family, and I am overjoyed. As I was handed the envelope, one of their songs, Christmas Sarajevo, came on the radio. I made a comment to my family, “Guys! We should have gone to their concert!” And then I opened the envelope, and pulled the tickets out. It was a mini-miracle.
2. My grandma made me a crocheted rosary when I was born, and I’ve kept it ever since. I love it very much, and asked her if she could teach me how to make them. She is going to teach me, and she even made me a couple more. This is a really great gift to me. It was also a nice gift of quality time together when she taught me how to make them tonight.
3. I got Hillsong’s album Cornerstone, the Deluxe version, which includes the full concert on DVD. I definitely wanted this. I listened to it on the way to my grandma’s today. I love it! Next best gift would be tickets to their concert. And I got a gift card to iTunes so that I can get Chris Tomlin’s album that comes out on January 8th!
4. I got a really cool giraffe shirt and giraffe nail polish. My sister even put this little giraffe key-chain in a little crate to make it look like it was shipped from Africa. Cutest thing ever. I love giraffes.
5. My brother’s girlfriend, God bless her soul, drew me a lovely picture of Rapunzel and her chameleon Pascal from Tangled, and I aspire to be Rapunzel and have my own chameleon someday. I love that movie. It’s by far my favorite. She also gave me this little Japanese cat figure that is believed to fulfill your wishes and dreams. I thought that was really neat because I love dreaming. She’s a sweetheart.
5. My mommy bought me a subscription to a seasonal magazine called Radiant. It’s a nice encouraging magazine for young women and includes modest fashion ideas and interviews about common experiences with love and life struggles. I love it already!
6. Finally, I got an iPhone. Crazy, right? There’s no way. But it was a promotional item that came with my brother’s, and I am thankful for it. My old phone is getting on my nerves, and its a really nice gift. Completely unexpected. But awesome. My mom also picked out a custom case that’s absolutely beautiful. I can’t wait to put the case on my phone and call it my own! I rhymed 🙂
I think the best gift of all that I have this Christmas is the ability to love my friends and family and to receive their unconditional love for me. I am also incredibly thankful for my strong faith and gifts and talents. All of this is truly a blessing in my life and I plan on doing great things with it.
There are certain things in life that I take for granted, and don’t pay much attention to at that. There are certain things that I see everyday, and they look a certain way during the day. But have you ever noticed how fantastic and magical everything looks at night? For example, I drive every day. Every DAY. Not every night. In the winter, I drive at night more often, because night falls earlier in the winter. Even less often do I find myself driving at rush hour in the winter. And even less often, at rush hour, during the holidays, in the winter. This situation just got extremely specific, but I definitely found myself in this predicament today. I was driving home, in holiday traffic, at rush hour (around 5:45, when the roads are the worst). It took a while, but I was perfectly content, singing Taylor Swift songs and enjoying the scenery. THE SCENERY. Got a little sidetracked there, but the scenery I saw around me on my way home was what I was going to talk about. It was so beautiful! I never knew city roads could be so gorgeous. I never knew rush hour could be so beautiful. I never knew a traffic jam could be so pretty. And I certainly never noticed how festive the red and green traffic lights could be at this time of year! So as I was looking ahead at the seemingly endless string of lights up ahead, another thought came to mind.
I want it to snow. A lot. 60 degrees this weekend? Great. If it was spring. But it’s winter. And honestly, I want it to be winter! I love snow skiing. It has always been a hobby of mine. I didn’t get to go at all last year due to the weather (that happens to be repeating this year, sadly). I used to take a ski trip with my family to Michigan every Christmas, and we’d stay for New Years. The resort we went to had a neat little New Year’s tradition. All the ski instructors and some nominees/volunteers would go up the lift with torches, and ski down the main run in a zig zag line. Then, the instructors would form the number of the new year. Two years ago, my instructor invited me to ski with them. It was awesome. I will never forget it. But I also will never forget my first New Year’s Eve at that resort, just marveling at the beauty of all the lights coming down the hill.
Seeing the lights of the cars coming down the gradual slope in the road, as I looked up at them, brought this memory to the surface. Remembering my winters in Michigan put me in a relaxed, happy, wintery mood. I love how memory can work like that sometimes. 😀
I am a kombat. Don't question it. It is what it is.