Surviving the holidays, part one

The time has come for the holidays to sink their teeth and suck dry my mental and literal wallet.

I try not to hate the holidays, but I can’t help it.

It has its upsides; I love watching my kids eat turkey and get excited for the special days at hand, and for their little hands to tear apart the wrapping paper to reveal the joy underneath. Every week they bring home a new holiday inspired craft from school, and it’s wonderful to see their creativity blossom. For Thanksgiving this year they had to write a list of things they were grateful. “Mommy” was on the top of both of their lists. Seeing that made my holiday wish list complete.

If it wasn’t for them I’d be a complete “bah humbug” type. I’m not religious in the Christian sense, so I don’t get excited for baby jesus, and the common practice of finding the perfect gift leaves me feeling jaded. Don’t get me wrong, I love buying people gifts, and I do this for loved ones sometimes for no reason save for coming across something I knew would add value to their day, therefore adding value to mine. This makes some people feel bad if they don’t return it, which defies the purpose of my giving them a present to begin with, making me wish I hadn’t. I don’t like making people feel bad.

Thanksgiving has come and gone. This was the first holiday since the disbanding of my family making it an awkward day. I felt a lot of pressure to give my dad a great day so I cooked my first ever Thanksgiving meal. It came out wonderful.  Too bad he was too sick to enjoy it. I had actually lost my appetite once it was done so out of the six people I cooked for, only one really ate. I had enough to decide that it was one of the best turkeys I’d ever had, and picked at the rest for appearance’s sake. After the family went to sleep and my other two guests had left I went to the bar I usually go to with friends over the holidays. That was equally strange.  Only two out of the group came. Everyone else was home with their family/new boyfriends/girlfriends/cats/neighbors/ect, and the rest no longer live here. Not to say it was a horrible time, but it just wasn’t the same. I was the only one doing any drinking, making for another awkward situation while I drank until I couldn’t feel feelings.

My birthday is in a few weeks. I’m still a few years from hitting the thirty mark, but it will be here soon enough. I have never been afraid of aging until this morning when I caught a glimpse of my reflection and saw some “signs” that I should be afraid. Puffy eyes, slight wrinkling in the corners, that “tired despite sleeping for eight hours” look. I’ve never really had that before. It occurred to me in that moment that I’m not young anymore. Time is passing, and things that are important that I finish before age gets to the best of me haven’t happened yet, like getting my degree and courtship and whatnot. I at least have some breeding under my belt, so that’s good. Once I hit thirty-one, I’ll be making a point to not expand my gene pool anymore, so I’m glad to have the two that I made.

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