Presents and memories

For the past few years, my husband’s family has held a Secret Santa in addition to most everyone getting everyone else gifts anyway. The site we use asks each person to put up suggestions for the gifter; I had written a nice journal, a gift card to Indigo/Chapters, and a glass paperweight (you know, the kind with the colored bubbles inside). My gifter cheated and got me two of the three; he was supposed to stay under $20, but Christmas is the time to give too much if you can, right?

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The journal is very nice indeed, bound in leather with an elastic band and ribbon bookmark. I used the gift card to cover part of an order for the next two volumes of the Sandman, which I eagerly await.

It must be said that I also received lovely gifts having nothing to do with books or writing. From my sister-in-law, I got a cutting board and tools for cheese, complete with a ceramic dish for crackers or fruits and individual little forks for guests. She also gave us a cute ornament and gift bag that our adorable two-year-old nephew put together. From my mother-in-law I received an electric mixer, something that I feel I’m missing in my house when I am forced to spend too much time whipping or whisking by hand whatever latest dessert I’m making. From my father-in-law, my husband together received lovely commemorative coins from the Royal Canadian Mint. I’m not sure which of my parents-in-law got me the chocolate orange, but Christmas just isn’t Christmas without one.

Of course, it is not the quality nor the quantity of the gifts that makes Christmas so special. One of the best parts was a picture slideshow showing old family photos. It’s always amusing and nice to see the people you know as they were when they were younger, especially with 20-year-old pictures showing old fashions in clothing and hair. It always makes me wonder if in twenty years I’ll look back on my fashion choices today and wonder what the hell I was thinking.

Merry Christmas

Christmas is a wonderful time of year. I don’t identify with any religion, but it’s a perfect opportunity to get together with friends and family, to share love and presents and food. My husband and I go to his folks’ place every Christmas Eve for turkey dinner, and often return the next day for leftovers.

I believe that “family” means the people that you choose to keep close to you and share the deepest parts of yourself with. These can be blood relations, old friends, or new friends. I spend Christmas with people I did not know six or seven years ago, and I love it. Of course, I would also like to spend more time with my family in Louisiana, but my financial situation doesn’t currently allow for that.

I don’t think that anyone should spend Christmas alone, unless they are genuinely happier removed from the company of others. For everyone else, I hope you find time to share something with someone close to you; a drink, a meal, a kind word, fuzzy feelings, etc. Hopefully you have the opportunity to escape the routine, leave all the stress behind for a time, and relish the peace and harmony of the holiday season.