December 26, 2009

on the morning after (Christmas, that is)...

I can honestly say that this is the first year since being in California that I've completely and utterly felt the holiday spirit.

I don't even think I did much that was different, but for some reason everything just fit together this year. My emotions, traditions new and old, finding the perfect gifts, wrapping up packages and mailing them out on time, baking holiday goodies with friends and for coworkers, watching the same Christmas movies twice within the span of a week, deciding to do only stockings for gifts between Jay and I, craft fairs, video chatting with the in-laws, phone calls with sisters and parents, adding to my collection of Christmas books, DVDs and decorations.

Even though life has been busier than ever, I've felt so much joy this season. I've felt content. And as much as I still have that ache of missing my family, knowing we are too far away to celebrate together, I have been doing well when it comes to not keeping those thoughts at the forefront of my mind. It has helped me feel less homesick and less weepy about being a grown-up during a holiday that makes me want to be eight-years-old again.

Christmas came and went without much pomp and circumstance, which is fine with me. Jay and I were able to attend a few holiday get-togethers with various aunts and uncles, grandparents and cousins. I'm so thankful for the family members that do live close, because they always bring a bit of that "home" feeling back. And although I had three days off before Christmas, I was stuck at work on Christmas morning. What is a girl to do at work when left to her own devices on a holiday? Eating fudge, sharing stories with coworkers and wearing pink shoes kind of helped lighten the mood, but all I really wanted to do was sleep in with my husband and eat a late breakfast.

Next year, I keep telling myself. Next year I'll be at a place where I don't have to worry about asking for holidays off and I'll be able to wear pink shoes without a care in the world. Next year I'll fill my days with the things I'm passionate about. Next year, next year, next year...

Today I find part of myself not quite ready to say goodbye to the holidays, comforting and enjoyed as they were this year.

I've always hated endings, especially when it comes to things I look forward to. When things are over, I'm always left with this sad, empty feeling. It doesn't matter how wonderful any specific event, holiday or experience is, either. Weddings, a really good book, moments from my childhood, a perfectly planned trip, my favorite movie, a day that has been looked forward to. Big or small, I just hate things being said and done. As much as I'm looking ahead to the coming year and working harder than I ever have to make things happen, I still have that ache as I sit here this morning.

It's almost as if I feel like I missed out on something, or perhaps didn't appreciate certain moments enough as they were happening. It's hard to explain, I guess.

And I'm covering up that ache by drinking a vanilla chai latte and surrounding myself with the sounds of Iron & Wine and thoughts of all I want to accomplish in the new year. Good things.

33 comments :

  1. I feel exactly the same way about endings. The longer you look forward to something, the sadder it is when it's over.

    My family is celebrating the holidays today, and even as it's happening, I feel myself getting sad that tomorrow it will be over. I have to remind myself, though, that I'm lucky I get to have the thing to look forward to in the first place :)

    ReplyDelete
  2. I know what you mean about feeling the holiday spirit - I felt it this year a lot more than I usually do, but now it feels as if Christmas was weeks ago! And now that it's hours from being over I want to do it all over again.

    I hope 2010 brings you all that you want :)

    ReplyDelete
  3. Your writing is so beautiful.

    And I also feel the same way about the ending of this holiday season. It is bittersweet for me. The holidays are definitely a favorite, so I hate to see them go...yet I am excited about all the things that next year will bring!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Yes, Christmas letdown is always so sad...but then things get rolling again and the years start to fly by! Love this post, very well said. Merry Christmas and happy new year!

    ReplyDelete
  5. I always have mixed feelings during "the end" of Christmas. On the one hand, I feel relief that the buying of presents and excessive calorie fests are over. On the other hand, do I really have to wait another 11.5 months in order to get excited again? I love the holidays. It's warm and cozy!

    ReplyDelete
  6. I know what you mean about endings - I often feel that way too. I usually try to make sure there is always something fun to look forward to after a big holiday or something exciting like a birthday. Even if it's just a candlelit dinner date planned, it's nice to always have something to get excited about. :)

    ReplyDelete
  7. I think this year is the first year that I am kind of glad that the holidays are over (although I really enjoyed the Christmas season) - not being able to celebrate with your family just stinks.

    I feel the same way about endings, though. I feel like I never appreciate the moment enough, no matter how hard I try.
    That's part of life, I guess.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Merry Christmas! I understand the whole sadness when something wonderful is coming to an end. I also feel like maybe I didn't truly appreciate it and live in the moment enough so I'm working hard to just be present instead of constantly THINKING THINGS TO DEATH-ha!

    Although, I'm sad Christmas is ending, I'm looking for to the start of a New Year. I know to some people it's just another day, but to me it's a brand new beginning. A time to do better, to make things happen and I couldn't be more excited to start off this new year. I hope 2010 is everything you want it to be!

    ReplyDelete
  9. I feel the exact same way... Looking at photos this morning I already felt sad and nostalgic about Christmas yesterday! Love your writing as always. Was keeping up with your tweets on Christmas and truly felt for you working! xoxo

    ReplyDelete
  10. I kind of stumbled upon your blog from another blog and felt compelled to tell you how darn cute it is! Can't wait to read more posts : )

    Merry Day-After Christmas!

    Leslie

    ReplyDelete
  11. I'm glad you had such a wealth of Christmas spirit this year. :)

    We were sorely lacking in it at my house, and I've never been so glad to see the holidays go.

    ReplyDelete
  12. dude. you are so in my head sometimes. i heart you. let's hang out.

    ReplyDelete
  13. I hate when Christmas (and other good things) end. It sucks because we look forward to this day for so long and then so quickly it's over!

    I'm glad you had a great Christmas!

    ReplyDelete
  14. I think everyone feels this way when Christmas ends, I always kinda feel like that was it and now what? But you realise it was more fun than you've had in a while and everyone was happy and smiling and it was worth more than anything else you could've asked for.

    http://www.fabbrunette.com

    ReplyDelete
  15. I also spent my Christmas at work, and every year I continue to think about how "next year" will be the one where I work at an establishment that actually closes on holidays. So here's hoping that both of us will be sleeping in next year!

    ReplyDelete
  16. I've had to work the last two Christmases at my current job. This year, I'm telling myself next year will be different and I won't have to worry about working the holidays. I've missed my nephew's first two Christmases, and two of my 3 year old neice's.
    And I also came down with mono/glandular fever. I'm glad your holiday was better than mine!
    Happy new year!

    ReplyDelete
  17. I totally understand about feeling like something is missing during the holidays when you aren't with your family. Every holiday besides Christmas (which is when we get to go to my house) feels completely meaningless for the most part.

    Seems silly, but it's true!

    ReplyDelete
  18. Thank you for expressing something that I couldn't put into words myself! I embrace the moment but also feel wistful knowing the moment is too soon gone.

    ReplyDelete
  19. I am glad that you had a great holiday and were in the spirit of the season. I agree with you though about being ready for something new, fun, and exciting. I'm excited for doing it my way too! Here's to pursuing our passions!!

    ReplyDelete
  20. I know what you mean about when things come to an end. I always get so sad after the holidays, and winter are over and I kind of almost dread the time in between! It's all, everything builds up to it and then when it's over you're all "okaayyy, now what??" Boo!

    ReplyDelete
  21. ohh, I know exactly what you mean by that after-Christmas feeling. Ditto ditto ditto. I always feel slightly lonely after Christmas. Which is silly, but nonetheless, that's how it is. Especially when it's been a Christmas where we weren't with family as much. And I think this Christmas was harder because of all my mom is going through right now-- I SO wanted to be there with her!

    ok, enough of me dumping all my emotions on you. hehe.

    anyway, it always makes me happy to hear of your good things. And I always pray that the things you don't QUITE have yet will come true soon! A new year is starting-- and isn't it so exciting to think of all the things it might hold?? I can't wait to see what is in store for our wishcake in 2010!! :)

    ReplyDelete
  22. The holidays go by so fast for me. Once I truly get in the holiday spirit, the holidays are over. At least New Years saves us from complete withdrawls.

    ReplyDelete
  23. I don't deal well with endings either. It's like I feel emotionally hungover.

    ReplyDelete
  24. I feel the same way when something I've looked forward to is over.

    ReplyDelete
  25. hey-im a frequent reader (and lurker lol) to your blog and i didnt know if you had a chance to check it out yet or not but you've been chosen as a top 5 finalist in 3 categories on 20 something bloggers for their 2010 bootlegger awards! congrats!!

    your blog is amazing btw, i love the layout and pics!

    http://www.20sb.net/page/2010-bootlegger-finalists

    ReplyDelete
  26. The holidays aren't over yet! There's still New Year's :)

    It sounds like you had a wonderful Christmas, and I hope the new year brings you everything you desire - and I have to say big congrats for the nomination @20sb!! Well deserved!

    ReplyDelete
  27. Hey, I like your blog! If it needs a makeover stop by Bloggy Blog Designz. We do headers, backgrounds, buttons, signatures, navbars and more!

    ReplyDelete
  28. Adorable as always.
    We aren't quite ready to let go of christmas here, and it's what, three days after!? I'm still rocking out to Christmas music, staring at the glow of the tree and have even bought a few more presents to give to my friends and family.

    I love that you wore pink shoes. Anything to make a girl feel good, right!?

    ReplyDelete
  29. Your description of your holiday experience made me feel all warm and fuzzy! Don't you love, as a grown-up, feeling like you actually get to savor the holidays? When they don't just rush by and make you hate mankind? It's wonderful!

    ReplyDelete
  30. Is there anything in the world a vanilla chai latte and Iron & Wine can't fix?

    I THINK NOT.

    ReplyDelete
  31. i feel like you just wrote down my entire christmas experience. i feel like i did everything right, too. and it was so happy and joyful and everything was *perfect* and we were all in the holiday spirit SO much more this year. but as soon as saturday hit, i felt empty. like... how is it already over?! december flew by.

    time to start planning for next year. :)

    sweatpants and feel-good movies and homemade chocolate milk and/or cookies always make me feel cozy and happy, though.

    ReplyDelete
  32. Just found your blog - I love your etsy store! It is fantastic. :)

    ReplyDelete
  33. hugs my love- Iron and wine ALWAYS HELPS!

    ReplyDelete

Thoughts? Questions? General musings? Do share!

If you are asking a question, I will respond here within the comments—so, be sure to click that handy little "notify me" box below to know when I've replied!