Friday, December 25, 2009


The older I get the less like Christmas Christmas feels. Am I too old to feel the magic of Santa and reindeer and giving and...mistletoe? Am I too harried to focus on nativities and sacrifice and the miraculous birth of not just a child, but a power - a force for redemption?

I listened to Christmas music as often as possible. I excitedly wished "Merry Christmas!" to people I met. I looked forward to the time when I would be with my family.
And yet...Christmas came too soon. By the time I realized the need to bask in the glow of yuletide cheer, it was upon us and past us and hadn't quite found its way into me. Per tradition, I hung my collection of homemade and gifted ornaments on our tree of misfit decorations. It doesn't look pretty but it does look like home. I wrapped presents and placed them under the tree. We stayed up late Christmas Eve, a sheet hung over the opening to the family room where my parents were playing at Santa Claus. And this year, as if to prove that we are now too old, my parents woke US up that special morning. We abandoned hope of fitting all 10 of us in my parent's queen size bed - these days it just turns into a violent wrestling match anyway - and gathered in the kitchen instead. No Christmas socks, no lining up from youngest to oldest on the stairs, no stockings hanging over the fireplace. Just a cinnamon roll and an attempt at ceremoniously removing the cotton barrier.

The rest of the day was spent in holiday carefreedom. Playing games, sharing presents, avoiding responsibility. Something I've been doing for the past week and a half. It turns out that when there aren't looming obligations, responsibility is shirked absolutely. I need to order textbooks, apply for scholarships, respond to emails, take a shower, post on my blog... It's as if all of that belongs to a world that isn't mine anymore, a world that exists half a country away. A world I return to on Friday. Somehow two weeks just doesn't seem long enough to have fully recovered from this past semester of school. A semester that almost broke me. But that's in the past now. Now it's Christmastime and I've got to make the most of it.

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Feliz Thanksgiving, at least one more time.

Another Thanksgiving spent abroad. Though, thankfully, this trip did not include an 18-hour time warp and supposedly edible sea creatures. Nope, just a bunch of cacti.
This holiday season I headed south to Arizona to visit an old roommate of mine. I got sick just in time to avoid eating a large Thanksgiving meal and make awkward dinner conversation with a couple guests. We played a quick game of Clue - which I lost because I neglected to accuse the Dining Room of killing Mr. Body with the Wrench in the Conservatory. The loss was too much and I spent the rest of the day napping on the couch. Me and a 9-month pregnant woman. Really, what's her excuse?

That night my friend (who is NOT the pregnant woman, just for the record), her husband, and I went to the park, looked at the stars, and finished each other's sentences. It would have been really romantic if I hadn't been alone...with a married couple.

The next day we headed up to the Grand Canyon. It may not be the longest or the deepest or the widest but I can assure you, it's the grandest. Much like Southern Utah it turns out.We also got in a little rock climbing. As you can see, it didn't offer much of a challenge. I basically ran up that sheer cliff usual. did Bryan and Kristin. I'm not sure what that means.Cheers, Thanksgiving! Cheers to you and yours.