Tag Archives: holiday

The last Friday before Christmas

merry christmas

Today’s the last Friday before Christmas. That means Christmas is just a few days away. Yay. Since I was a kid I’ve always loved Christmas. It’s the one season of the year when I feel like everything around me comes to life. One thing I’ve noticed over the years is the fact that Christmas isn’t just a day’s celebration; it shouldn’t just be celebrated on 25th. Christmas is a season. I’m not sure when it starts exactly but I know in my house it starts on my birthday. It’s always been a tradition that we start putting up the decorations a few days before my birthday or latest, a day after.

Since we put up the Christmas decorations I feel like I was bitten by the Christmas bug. Everything just feels Christmassy. Maybe it’s just the good cheer, but my food tastes sweeter, and the cold weather makes the days feel even more beautiful. There’s something about Christmas; I noticed that two years ago. I spent all my days working. Not even music from live bands could do anything to cheer me up. It was horrible. I only got my Christmas break on Christmas Eve and even then it was too little too late. That was the one time in my life I felt like I never celebrated Christmas.

merry christmas 4

I learnt then, that Christmas is about spending time with others, spreading love and good cheer. Without that the beautiful carols will just sound like any ordinary song and all the traditions associated with Christmas will feel meaningless.

This Christmas, reach out to someone in need; spread a little love and the Christmas cheer. Forgive more, laugh more, and just celebrate the birth of our new born King.

merry christmas 3

HAPPY HOLIDAYS!

Advertisements

Negative competition

When I was a kid, the main reason I loved celebrating birthdays, Easter and Christmas was because we (my sisters and I) always got new clothes, and most of the time they were matching Cinderella dresses. Mom always bought us the dresses that were in vogue at that time, and as we grew up it became a little tradition. The best part was when it came to attending mass on Christmas day, because then we’d get to wear our cute ‘princessy’ dresses. In that light, my least favourite Christmas was year 2000’s because we didn’t get new clothes; mom didn’t have a job and dad wasn’t willing to part with his money.

Given the circumstances, we were so disappointed; we refused to attend mass. It felt weird not wearing new clothes to church. Mom was so strict when it came to matters church, but I guess that day she understood our frustrations so she didn’t force us to go. In my family, Christmas has always been treated like an extended family affair so most of the time we hold our annual get-togethers around that time. That Christmas was being celebrated at one of my uncles’ place. Dad went alone.

Seeing as we didn’t attend mass that day, one of our second class cousins, who lived nearby passed by our place. Maybe the frustrations of not having new dresses made us myopic, because I remember feeling like she had only come to see what kind of clothes we had.

It sounds foolish when I think about it now, but we made that deduction based on three facts: firstly, their house was a thirty minutes’ walk away from ours. Secondly, she brought us an old black card with a wine bottle on the front page and it wasn’t even enveloped. It didn’t seem like a Christmas card and given that I’ve never seen it since then, I’m assuming we threw it away that same day. Thirdly, we weren’t really that close. The relationship we had with them was a very unhealthy one; it was more of a competition; seeing who went to the best schools, who lived in a fancier house, who got a boyfriend first (we were still very young but that was also an issue), seeing whose parents drove the best cars, who got the best grades in school…

Based on that, it was difficult to believe she’d walked all the way just to bring an old card; but maybe we were just being paranoid… the only good thing about that day was that one of our aunts-she was estranged from her husband at the time so she also didn’t attend the get-together- brought my sisters and I some cute knickers.

As I’ve mentioned in some previous posts, the things-habit wise- we pick up as kids stay with us longer. In that respect, I’ve always detested any form of competition I deem negative; with my cousins for instance. The madness stopped when we moved to different parts of the city. I don’t think the competitiveness stopped, on their part atleast, because even when we meet one can still feel the tension; the only thing is that distance brought some sanity.

When I was a kid, the relationship we had with the rest of the family didn’t feel any different and as I grew up I started appreciating the distance. We only met up when it was inevitable. For the better part of our preteen and early teenage years we still were linked by the mere fact that somehow my sisters, female cousins and I all went to the same boarding school. So even if we lived far from each other we’d still meet in school.

Slowly, I started hating anything that felt like a competition, because if whatever I had/did wasn’t the best, I’d lie so I wouldn’t feel so bad about it. I didn’t like the person I was becoming. Luckily we went to different high schools and seeing as we were old enough to make our own choices we (my sisters and I) avoided any unnecessary meetings. Sometimes distancing oneself from negative influence is the best solution.

Someone who reads my posts regularly might think I hate my extended paternal family. Truth is I don’t hate them. I just don’t like the person I am when I’m with them. Our relationship hasn’t changed. It has always felt like a competition, and looking back at the life I had as a kid, I know I wouldn’t want to go back to that. If I have to constantly tell lies or lash out at someone because they make it their business to pry into my life, making me feel bad about what I don’t have or what I have, just because they’re not okay with it, I would rather sever all ties with them than do something I might regret for the rest of my life, in an attempt to always top the charts.

second chances

Life happens when you’re busy planning life

making plans

‘Life happens when you’re busy planning life.’

The first time I heard this statement, my mind went back to a date I never had with a guy I really liked about two years ago. Naturally, I’m one of those people who don’t just do things on impulse. If I’m hooking up with some girlfriends, I’ll have to plan for it. If it’s an appointment I have with my hair dresser, I’ll have to plan for it. If I’m going shopping, I’ll have to plan for it. Spontaneity isn’t a word I’m too conversant with.

I really can’t say it’s a good thing. Some might argue it’s good to always plan for things in advance-I thought so too, but not anymore. Through experience, I learnt that sometimes it’s actually good to do things on impulse. The problem with some things is that if you actually sit down to plan when you’ll do them, they’ll never happen.

Two years ago, I met this guy when I was at work. He worked for a popular radio station. After talking for a while we just clicked, and he asked me out. I didn’t even think twice about it; I definitely wanted to spend more time with him. You know, there are those people who are so easy to like; he was one of them. The problem however rose when we started setting the time for our date. Somehow our schedules collided. When I was free he wasn’t, and when he was, I wasn’t.

He suggested we should just leave the possibilities open so if he was free he’d call me up to ask if I could avail myself. That proved difficult because at times he’d call when I was tied up with something. I had to explain to him that I had my activities all planned out (It sounds boring I know, trust me). He on the other hand told me he was an in-the-moment kinda guy. Whatever he did, he did when he felt like. He made it clear that he wasn’t really into planning and all. At the time I was like, “What? Planning makes things easy.”

He dropped by my workplace, and we managed to set an actual date. We agreed to hook up later that evening. Everything was going on fine, until I sprained my ankle. I wanted to ignore it but the pain was too much. I just rang him to cancel; there was no way I was going on a first date with him limping.

It was around Christmas. Later that week my family and I travelled out of town for a couple of days. When we came back the Christmas festivities had relatively cooled off. I’d asked my boss to give me a few days extra and the understanding man he was, he had agreed, so I reported back to work later than everyone else. It was almost time to usher in the New Year. Soon, everything went back to normal, the holiday spirit died down, waiting for another twelve months so it could resurrect.

There was too much work to be done and even, though I’d thought December was a busy month, January proved worse, not because there was too much work to be done, but because generally, the month feels like a Monday; a mundane, lethargy-inflicting day, after an exciting weekend. The connection we’d fostered the first few days faded away. I got tired of all the rescheduling, and I imagined he felt the same way too.

The relationship we would possibly have had ended before it had begun. I could tell he was a fun guy to be with, but it just didn’t happen. Maybe if I hadn’t been too keen on planning, if I just lived for the moment, I would be telling an entirely different story. Maybe I made wrong deductions, but given that to date we’ve never hooked up, I concluded that sometimes it’s actually good to just do things on impulse.

From a Christian’s perspective I could decide to look at it from the, ‘God didn’t want us to go on that date perspective’, but normally I feel my ‘planning’ got in the way. So I do agree, that life actually happens when we’re busy planning it. We don’t know what tomorrow holds, so if one gets the opportunity to do something today, they should just grab the chance. Maybe I’m wrong… maybe I’m not…