I had a wonderful holiday, and I hope everyone else did as well. The only thing that makes me slightly sad is Christmas just feels...different now that I am an adult.
Does anyone else know what I am talking about?
When I was younger, Christmas seemed like a magical time. I know "magical time" sounds like a cliche, but it really truly did. There was something special about waking up on Christmas morning to find presents underneath the tree. In my family, Mom and Dad started a "tradition" of barricading the living room off with a ribbon so we would stay out of the presents before they woke up. For some reason this worked, even though we could easily crawl under the ribbon. Each year we took turns cutting the ribbon.
We also open presents one at a time. We watch what the rest of the family got for Christmas. It's maddening, but fun, and dragged out the "opening the presents" time.
One year we convinced our parents to let us just tear into the presents, like most of our friends do. Christmas was a bust that year, I am sorry to report. It was over in like, three seconds. There was a small cloud of wrapping paper and tinsel, and we didn't see the dog for a long time. And when it was over, we felt somewhat disappointed. The presents were great, but now Christmas was over.
We never opened presents like that again, not even now as adults.
I think the difference is now as an adult, I can mostly buy what I want. I have this thing called a job that lets me buy stuff after I am done doing boring things with my money like pay bills. As a child, twenty dollars is a lot of money. Christmas is like...well, Christmas. You get all kinds of stuff. Granted, I do received gifts that I wouldn't have bought myself but still.
Now, as an old fogey, I like watching people open presents from me. I like to see how excited they are, and if I guessed correctly. I suspect there will be even more excitement when I have children and I can watch them open their presents.
But I don't mean to complain. Christmas was great, and I got all sorts of stuff. My Mom even bought me these two awesome shirts from Cafe Press. I really like this writing shirt, and think I might have to buy myself a birthday present.
Oh what's that you say? Yes, in a week it will be my birthday. My poor, poor family doesn't get a holiday/special occasion break until February. November is Thanksgiving, a week before Christmas is my little brother's birthday, a week after Christmas is my twin brother's and I's birthday, and at the end of January is my sister in law and my dad's birthday. Also, my best friend's birthday. So yeah. That's a lot of birthdays.
Christmas fell on a Saturday this year, so I had it off, and Sunday is my normal day off, so it was pretty nice to have two days off in a row. I did some cooking, and watched Batman Begins and the Dark Knight yesterday with my husband. I tried a new recipe, and it turned out very tasty. It's called Bigos, or Hunter's Stew in English, and is meat stewed with sauerkraut and cabbage, mushrooms, and onions. There's tons of different recipes for it, and I look forward to tweaking it to our tastes. The best part? It tastes even better the next day.
I used this recipe, but I didn't add the peppercorns or allspice berries, because I loathe peppercorn and couldn't find any allspice berries. I also added onions, because well, you can never have too many onions. My coworkers enjoyed it, and since one of them is from Poland, where this dish originates, I considered it a success.
I also worked on my book yesterday. I am really enjoying working at this pace. I had a lot of time at work to think about what's going to happen next, and as soon as I finish this blog post, I will be off to Bookland. I still feel like I am groping around in the dark, but after two false starts I finally feel like I am on the right path. Writing is fun again, which has been absent lately, and I am glad to find my groove again.
In short, life is spectacular.
How did everyone's holidays go? Any amazing gifts? Discoveries?
P.S. It snowed on Christmas! At six o'clock at night, but still! I made a tiny snowman! You can still see the grass through the snow, but still. There was real snow!