I may not be the biggest fan of the cold, but I am certainly a fan of Christmas time and the holiday atmosphere. There’s something about this time of year that makes you excitable — restless with anticipation of the year to come and all the plans in progress. We’re thinking about all the things we want to accomplish. About all the things we want to do, and the places we want to go. My to-do list for 2014 includes things like really kicking the book writing into full-gear, making it back to Spain, saving money to visit my dear friend in Brazil, hopefully finding a full time UK job, completing my graduate dissertation without having the biggest panic attack of my life. Any other time of year, I would be anxious at the slow progression of all these hopes and dreams. I would grow frustrated and riddled with self-deprecation — emotions that plague my usually nervous disposition. But not at Christmas.
It’s funny, but as a kid I found Christmas to be a far more depressing holiday. I don’t know why that was. Maybe because I always felt guilty for not having enough quality time with whichever parent I wasn’t spending the holidays with. Perhaps because the actual events on Christmas day seemed over-the-top and far too kitsch for my mild-mannered and shy temperament. But as I’ve grown up and left the turtle shell I inhabited for the better part of my childhood and adolescence, I’ve started to enjoy everything about the holiday season. The food. The shopping. The tree decorating. The togetherness.
This is going to be my first Christmas with my boyfriend. It’s going to be different than any Christmas before. We’ve always spent the holidays apart — me with my family in New Jersey, he with his parents in England. And though this means I won’t be able to see my family until the new year (something I feel weird and sad and odd about), it means the whole holiday season is filled with new experiences. Today, for instance, Paddy and I bought a mini tree for our bedroom, and will be decorating it together (something I am far too jolly about, or maybe that’s perfectly acceptable?). The shop we bought it at went all out. Twinkly lights, polar bear displays, life-like reindeer, a seemingly infinite array of candy canes. As Paddy had been before, he suggested we take some Christmas-y photos inside this legit winter wonderland. We couldn’t get the lighting quite right, or take pictures in each backdrop they created because of the amount of people inside the store, but we tried. I took the opportunity to wear this metallic, red dress, which is so comfortable and so Christmas-appropriate, that it feels like perfection. I love tartan, and I love sparkly things, so this was just the dress for me.