|Rain on the My Bedroom Window|
I love this time of year... but up until recent years, that had little to do with the coming of the holidays. I love cold weather. I love rain and snow (when I actually lived places where it was possible). I love the flavors, smells, and atmosphere associated with the holiday season. I love feeling like I really have "permission" to do some of my favorite things in this world, namely eat and relax at home. The rest of the year, I tend to feel obligated by some unknown force to go out more, do more, accomplish more, and be different. I like the winter because there's none of that required. It's fine and even preferable to make merry and take things slowly enough to appreciate what you've already earned, as opposed to focus on relentlessly earning more.
This year, I'm thrilled to actually have a little extra time to enjoy the things about my life that are actually going right. I recently got rid of a difficult client who was taking up all of my time and fully expected to continue doing so over Christmas and New Year's. With them out of the picture, I've had time to reconnect with some of my more reasonable clients, as well as with my fiancé and my friends. That's been really wonderful. I've been thoroughly enjoying my holiday as a result.
This year, we're not really doing presents again, much like last year. I'm so over that shit anyway for so many reasons. I don't have a nice living space of my own to decorate the way I please. I have nowhere to go that requires me to wear fancy clothes or have lots of outfits to choose from. I don't really need objects to enjoy the things I love anymore either. Seriously, I enjoy most (if not all) of my music, movies, and television through subscription-based services like Spotify, Netflix, or Hulu these days so I no longer collect CDs or DVDs. Between my Kindle and the free ebook sites packed with classics online, I don't really buy books anymore either.
Instead of worrying about that junk, I gave a nice chunk of money to charity this year. A lot of people say that giving money to charity makes them feel good, but I really sincerely mean it when I say that. I used to give every year, but haven't been able to afford it in quite a while. This year, I donated enough to buy needy people a ridiculous number of meals and I smile every time I think about it. In fact, I'd even say that this is the first year in a while that I feel like I did Christmas the "right" way. As a food lover, I can't think of anything that makes me feel better than having enough to eat and enjoying a good meal at the end of the day. I wanted to give that gift to other people who would appreciate it this year.
Speaking of food and full bellies at holiday time, we might roast a white Peking duck this year and come up with some interesting Asian sides for a change. I'm looking forward to that.