I love Halloween.
I love Thanksgiving.
I love Christmas.
I love New Years.
I love everything about the holidays. I am thankful for that love. I love that people smile more. “Smiling’s my favorite.” I love that people give more. I love that families and friends get together. I love that there is good football to be played. I love that basketball season is starting. I love that a drink at a family member’s or friend’s house or at the bar taste that much better; the food definitely does. I love fireplaces roaring in the evening. I love that we’re bundled up in sweaters and sweatshirts and long johns and big socks and hats and scarves and mittens. I (miss and) love the snow. I love that the air is crisp. I love the lights down the city streets. I love the lights enveloping the neighborhood houses. I love the music. I love that the movies are over the top. I love that sometimes all of this is a bit unrealistic, but yet, there is a glimmer of hope that this in fact could become reality. I love that everyone says hello and happy holidays. I just love that everyone and everything is just so… festive.
I often wonder why is it this time of the year when cheer is heightened, when love is more freely given? Why cannot we be like this year round? I play Christmas music year round. I really do. When I had a tree (a live one – wouldn’t have it any other way, not that I would judge anyone with a fake tree), it would often stay in my living room till at least April, and once till June (though admittedly it may have been a fire hazard by that time). I like to think I wake up every morning whether during the holidays or not, in a festive mood, wanting to give, embodied in the holiday spirit.
I was blessed a month ago to receive a small little Christmas tree from my team. It stands on my coffee table in my living room, a daily reminder of the wonderful people I worked with. A couple months prior, I invited them over to my place, and cooked them a traditional Indian dinner while we listened to Christmas music in the background. Accompanying us at different parts of my apartment were Santa Claus, the Nativity set, a gingerbread house serving as a jukebox and a faux-TV also serving as a jukebox of holiday tunes. “Christmas is around us! Come on and let it show!”
Despite my 49ers being crushed by the Seahawks, Thanksgiving in Seattle was wonderful. I spent time with dear friends the night before and with family on the day of and the day after. We went tree shopping, and selected the most perfect Douglas Fir. My cousin’s baby girl – little Eden (I always think of the song “4th of July, Asbury Park (Sandy)” by Springsteen when I look at her “Fireworks are hailing over little Eden tonight” – fell in love with the tree and with the ornaments that would later adorn it. She claimed the tree; and we were just actors in her play. We had both a traditional Thanksgiving meal and we had Indian food. And I loved both. We went to Pike’s Place so I could be a tourist in Seattle. Since moving to the Bay Area, I’ve nurtured and given in to being a tourist in my own city; and make sure to become one in every place I visit. Besides the fish market, which I was mesmerized by and (I couldn’t help it, had to snap pictures cos it) looked like a postcard, we walked by the very first Starbucks ever. I love farmers’ markets, all of them. The weather was beautiful those two days, both raining and light snow; yes, I believe rain and snow are actually beautiful. My family lives right on Lake Sammasich, a postcard right out of a Norman Rockwell painting especially when I awoke to pure white snow lightly blanketing the trees and a colourful grey fog blanketing the lake. And then just like that, after breakfast with two close friends, I was gone and drove back to Portland to grab my dog. We hit the Oregon coast for an epic drive down Highway 101 heading south to California. Time with family and friends is never long enough.
I am back now.
I love rainy days. And rainy nights.
We don’t get enough of them in California.
My family and friends get a lot of them in Washington. That being said, it has not stopped raining in Sausalito since I got back. We’ve needed it; my plants love it, and it gives me a reason to stay inside and watch movies in the background while I write and paint.
And so that’s how I’ve spent the last few days since coming back. Writing. Painting. Hibernating in the rain. Thinking about and living the holiday spirit during the holiday season.
What do you have planned for the holiday season?
Tomorrow will bring another chapter to an epic journey.
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