I will be writing a lot about how I “survive” the holidays and I fear that I’ll make it seem like I hate the holidays, which I absolutely do not. So, I thought before I delve into my more practical posts, I’d write a post about what I like about the holidays. You know, get us started on a positive note.
First of all, I have nothing but wonderful childhood memories of the holidays. Thanksgiving was my favorite, and not just because eating is my favorite sport. My maternal grandparents used to have all four of their kids and five of their grandkids to their tiny 2-bedroom apartment in Boston and the only room that could hold us all was their living room. So they’d open up folding tables smack dab in the middle of the room and we’d all eat together. Then dessert would be laid out buffet style on the kitchen table so that we could close up the folding tables and reclaim the living room for lounging, playing, and watching TV. I’m very close with all of my cousins but my big cousin Kino is closest in age to me and we could hang out together for hours. Sadly for my little sister, hanging out with Kino often consisted of hiding from her. Kids are brutal, folks!Come share your holiday #memories & learn what @bookwheelblair loves most! #healthyholidays2015 Click To Tweet
Interestingly, my favorite part of Christmas was my least favorite part growing up. My mother has a love for Charlie Brown Christmas trees. I cried over our pathetic Christmas trees more than once. But now that I’m older, I realize my mother is making a point when she buys the saddest, deadest tree she can find. It’s not about the tree, it’s not about the presents, it’s not about the decorations, it’s about love and togetherness and peace and sweet baby Jesus. At least, that’s what it is to her. Even though her two kids have flown the coop, she still buys the saddest little Christmas tree she can find every year and puts like 10 ornaments on it. It’s so hilarious and is the subject of hours of entertainment with my father, sister, and me.
There are so many other stories I could tell but I’ll stop regaling you with tales of people you don’t know because at some point this will just get awkward. So, without further ado, here is an inexhaustive list in no particular order of the things I love about the holidays.
- Volunteering – every year we would serve food to the homeless around Thanksgiving. I also just really respect all of the donating that goes on to help people in need. I wish we could muster this level of civicism all year, but it’s better than nothing!
- Turkey Trot 5K – I’ve never actually participated in this but I can often be seen cheering on my friends and it’s a really great T-Day activity.
- Rocky Horror Picture Show – If you haven’t seen this show or movie I highly recommend it. I personally go see the show every October.
- Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade – need I say more?
- Friendsgiving – For the past 6 years I’ve had a turkey feast with my friends a weekend or two before Thanksgiving.
- Fall Fun Day – I posted about this a little here. My friends and I go to a farm and ride the hayride, pick pumpkins, and roast weenies and marshmallows. Some years there’s also pumpkin carving and apple crisp making. Pro tip: apple crisp is about the crisp so I recommend a 3:1 crisp to apples ratio.
- Decorations – While I personally fail at decorating for the holidays, I really enjoy the work that all of you put into your decorations. When I was a kid, my family would pile into the car and drive around town looking at all of the holiday decorations. Where I live now, some of the neighborhoods and shops have competitions so there’s never a shortage of holiday lights to enjoy. It’s just the best!
- Small Business Saturday – I know what you’re thinking, this was created by a credit card company to make more money. And I think that’s true, but who cares? Thanks to this day, small businesses all over the US are making money. Plus, what a great excuse to get out and learn about the people who are enriching our communities with their homemade/handmade/fairly traded/whatever goods.
- New York City – One of my very best friends lives in New York and a few years back it became an unofficial tradition for me to visit her during the holiday season. We usually meet early in the season when pumpkin spice lattes first come out at Starbucks so we can share our inaugural lattes. It sounds so #basic, I know, but what it comes down to is sharing something warm and yummy with a beloved friend who I don’t see nearly enough.
- Friends and Family – I am so fortunate to have more love in my life than I can say. My family is very close and I have friends who would go to jail with me without blinking an eye. So no matter how harried I feel, I always make time to see those who are nearest and dearest to me. And THAT is the most important part of the holidays for me.