Merry Christmas!

So I don’t celebrate Christmas, but I do celebrate family, joy, and massive discounts. Despite my lack of belief in the institution, religious or otherwise, I can’t help but get caught up in the general cheeriness of the holiday season. Growing up in America, you’re conditioned to conform but in this instance, I’m happy to do it!

Here’s a short list of my non-Christmas Christmas traditions:

  1. I have a list of favorite Christmas songs and know the words to most all (even the ones I hate).  I love Wham’s “Last Christmas” and Mariah Carey’s “All I Want for Christmas” but I hate the Beach Boys’ classic and Elvis’s “Blue Christmas.”
  2. I put up strings of icicle lights outside the house just so we weren’t the only ones on the street without decorations.
  3. We have a family dinner or plan an activity, just because we all conveniently have the same time off.
  4. We scout the newspapers, flyers and websites for post-Christmas sales together.
  5. Shopping, lots of shopping…

This Christmas, I hope you have a lovely day filled with laughter and delicious food. May the greedy, capitalistic part of you be assuaged for a while and may your holiday haul be spectacular.

Merry Christmas!

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How to Be a Ladyperson at the Holidays: 10 Important Tips

Love it! Will definitely take these tips into account during the holidays!

I Miss You When I Blink

Straight from the ad pages of your favorite magazines, here’s your guide to being a girl in December. Take notes.

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1. Stay cozy. Wear a baby.

wear a baby If you play your cards right, your sensitive, goateed dad/boyfriend/professor will reward you with a pair of socks made out of his extra sweater sleeves.

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2. Flaunt your complexity.

Embrace all your many dimensions. Think: "I'm an heiress and an Italian professor at this upscale tropical funeral." Show off all your many dimensions at once. When planning outfits for your holiday soirées, think: “I’m an heiress and an Italian professor at this upscale tropical funeral.”

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3. Represent feminine softness in a hard masculine world.

coach All around you are skyscrapers made of bricks and iron and glass and ouchy things. They’re all pointy and hard. But not you. You’re a soft pink flower in a gentle haze of light. Everything around you is blooming, because you breathed springtime into winter. You’re a superfresh candypants sugarblossom.

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4. If you’re truly hot, you…

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I hate driving!

It’s true.

Here’s the problem: I am entirely too unobservant. Being an unobservant driver is likely to be a fatal flaw.

You see, I’m a short girl with a Toyota Camry so I’m low to the ground and can’t even see the whole front end of the car. I have ZERO spacial awareness (let’s not even talk about parallel parking) so it’s a nightmare to drive anywhere with close spaces. My main demons are small/inner city streets and merging onto highways. I feel like I have greater blind spots than most. Acknowledging this weakness makes me more than paranoid and it causes me to panic which causes me to miss more details. It’s a horrendous, terrifying cycle.

Luckily, I can deal with highway driving. I appreciate having more space to maneuver since lanes are wide and there’s fewer threats of being blindsided. I mean, off the highway, there’s just so much more that could go wrong! Pedestrians, bike riders, taxi drivers, mini-vans, sports cars, et cetera (so basically, everyone else on the road).

Honestly, I think I’m the reason for the stereotypical female driver but since there’s no way to live where I do without a vehicle (and public transport is no picnic either), I just need to keep at it and hope I don’t cause too much damage.

Plus, I’ve never had an accident so at least there’s that!

Mourning

BBC News – Pakistan mourns after Taliban Peshawar school massacre.

The world is mourning the loss of innocent lives. Every headline, story, post or mention of the children, teachers and families brings tears to my eyes. Tears for the suffering of the mothers and fathers, the siblings and friends, that expected bright faces at the dinner table after a day at school. I saw tears in my mother’s eyes who held me and said a prayer of thanks to God for protecting me from such a terrible fate.

How privileged I am to have never felt unsafe in school or college. Even when Boston was shutdown and the suspect caught not 10 minutes from my dorm room, on a street I regularly traveled, I felt safe. There were security measures in place! If something had even happened, I continued to believe in justice and what it means to live in America.

This tragic and painful event, a hate crime so heinous, turns me to my faith. I pray for the remedy of the wounded, the suffering of loved ones be eased, and that the doors of heaven be opened for the fallen.

Surely we belong to God and to Him shall we return.

Obligations

*sigh*

I feel really whiny today, and there’s no particular reason. I think that almost makes this feeling worse. If you know the cause of an issue, it’s a lot easier to resolve it.

I feel a bit trapped and claustrophobic. While I am grateful I have a roof over my head and all the amenities that go with it, I am caught wanting to get out. You see, I live in a relatively small house where the only space that’s mine is my bed. In this relatively small house, there a few too many relatives. I can’t help but feel selfish and petty. I want a space of my own. I want the freedom to move out. I want more

…more than I can have.

I start a new job next month. I can start paying off my student loans. I can start saving up. I can start setting myself free.

I, I, I, I, I.

I think far too much of myself but for a girl that didn’t grow up with a whole lot, it might be understandable. I’ve studied some psychology and sociology. It’s in my profession to know what people want, need and desire. Unfortunately or fortunately, it has caused me to continually scrutinize and berate myself for wanting more.

I wish to escape that cycle.

one day at a time

Today, I spent some time thinking about illness and the strength it takes to make it through.

Facing challenges and overcoming difficulties is a part of life that we and the people we care about deal with in many facets. I’ve noticed, perhaps because of recent events in my own life, that there are more and more stories that shed light and celebrate this immense strength. Films and TV serials highlighting such extraordinary people are raising awareness and instilling respect in our society. Books made into films like The Fault in Our Stars and biopics like the Theory of Everything connect the viewers on a more personal, emotional level. Social movements like the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, Walks for Hunger, and Relay for Life at once entertain, raise funds, and set trends for the future.

Today, my introspection has led me to appreciate the life that I have been given, the luxury of good health, and the blessing of an expansive support system.

What are you grateful for today? What story has reached you?