December 25, 2008


Regardless of whether this is your holiday (and, for reference, I spent much of the Christmas dinner being told by a practicing Zen Buddhist that I, as a reading but not sitting Zen buddhist, really should join the local sitting group in town, which, of course, is true, but not what one thinks of as traditional Christmas dinner conversation), I hope you had a lovely day.

Daddy, in his hilarious wisdom ("Life's not fair kid, get used to it." and "Never get too good at something you don't like.") always said to celebrate the good things, no matter what.

So, if Christmas isn't your day, celebrate the day off work. Celebrate the general holiday spirit. Just celebrate. Because at the end of the day, I think Daddy's right. Celebration, as often as possible, is a good thing.

And, in that vein, while there are things that suck about the economy, the relative lack of work and pressure over the last few days and today were nice changes that both E and I have been trying to enjoy and even celebrate this holiday. I made it to a local yoga studio for a class (which I haven't done in at least a year) and purchased a 10-day pass, so ideally I'll be going back. Additionally, I've fit in multiple runs, visits to E's extended family, long lunches with family, and just general free time.

I even had to take vacation PTO yesterday because there was no work to do. Had there been work, I would have done it and saved the vacation. But there was none to do. This seemed strange, given my whole 2 years of previous holiday experience as a lawyer. But, as dad instructed, I'll assume it was a blessing and enjoy it.

Today, we started the celebration by sleeping in.

Then, we ate entirely too much breakfast of pannetone french toast (so rich!) and, of course, bacon.

Then, presents. Less than last time, with more time for creativity (E's sister created cards for all of us from, the elf on the front page -- yeah, my gift came with that with my face.) Less presents is good for E and me. That way, our relative lack of commitment to presents looks less lame. We had covered E's family, but then we realized that going around the circle meant that everyone else had gotten each other presents and we hadn't gotten each other anything (our NYE trip, food on vacation, etc. tend to be our gifts to one another).

So, we made a quick run to Target for a Queen sized aerobed Eddie Bauer inflatable bed (so we could sleep together like the married couple we are while staying in E's childhood room with 2 twin beds) and each picked out our favorite teas, some lip gloss for me and some barbeque tools for E.

We wrapped the small gifts yesterday and unwrapped them today while E's parents unwrapped their gifts to each other. Present balance was maintained.

After presents, I fit in a quick 3 mile run, which felt awesome even if it did draw me some strange looks from E's family and later arriving guests.

And then, there was the shower of ridiculously wonderful water pressure due to the super-old house, followed by the dress-up and the huge traditional southern, sit-down, multi-course Christmas meal with 2 other families. It's the same families for Christmas every year and many of them join for Thanksgiving and/or weddings or other events.

We alternate years and holidays, so I'm slowly getting to know and love these folks as I become more intertwined with E's family and culture. They were happy to see E and me, we were happy to see them, and, as one should on a holiday, we all ate well, drank well, and caught up.

In the midst of the socializing, I got to run out of the room when my phone rang to speak with my sister, brother, niece, and arvay. I traded voicemails with my mom and aunt (who promised to deliver hellos and hugs to the extended family). I even traded text messages with bear, a good friend from college.

After the guests left, we changed into comfortable clothes and watched PBS's documentary on Truman. What an amazing, underappreciated man! He made me proud.

All in all, it was a great holiday, and I hope that your day was equally wonderful.

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