Easing back into this (and gearing up to make some changes) as well, but before I move ahead, I'm taking a moment to look back by discussing the holidays and my traditions.
Full disclosure: my parents getting divorced was absolutely for the best. However, when they divorced, they decided that since they were adults, they would come up with a holiday visitation schedule on their own like civilized human beings.
Yeah...no....Long story short, holidays from 8-19 weren't fun. At all. At this point in my life, the holidays are more about getting to see family that I wouldn't get to see otherwise more than me actually celebrating or making a big deal out of things. If nothing else, I appreciate the fact that there isn't nearly as much drama involved as there used to be.
Luckily, Christmas isn't really a big deal for my family. It's a low-key affair, but it can still be a really stressful experience. This past Christmas was not (thank goodness). This was even the first time I saw my dad's side of the family on Christmas day since I was a kid. They're really into basketball, so between that and a team running a Boston in Spades, it was a festive occasion to say the least. No longer speaking to my dad (or him no longer speaking to me or whatever the heck happened) has made staying in touch with that side of my family pretty difficult, but my cousin has really tried to keep me in the loop these past few years and I really appreciate her doing that. Before settling in for the night, we went to visit my grandma. Over the past few years, visiting a relative in the hospital during the holidays has become a yearly tradition. We sort of broke that tradition as my grandma was in a long-term care facility, but it will be nice for everyone to be home and healthy one year.
My holiday ended the same way it has every year since 2005: watching the movie version of RENT. Since its release, I've watched it every Christmas night and it's the last thing I do before I go to bed. Not sure how my mind equates Christmas with RENT, but it has. Could be a lot worse I suppose.
December 26 is the start of Kwanzaa for me. I'm actually the only one in my family who observes it, but that's what made me start doing so in the first place. It was the one holiday with no drama attached to it, so I was able to celebrate in peace. It's a good way to end the way on the right note and gives me that push into the new year because it focuses on character qualities that can make you a better person and therefore better for the world around you.
Since it lasts a week, a New Year's Day feast became a tradition in itself when I boomeranged back into my mom's apartment that last time. Every year, I'd get some of my friends together and cook for them. None of them celebrate Kwanzaa, but it's good to get the year started right with those you care about around you. This year, my mom and I visited one of my best friends and her family in Austin, so we cooked there in between going to Mass, watching football, and playing with the cutest one year old on the planet :)
Speaking of New Year's, football. Nothing but football. I didn't watch every bowl game this bowl season like I have in other years, but football is a must. Watching The Rose Parade is also a must-do, but from the day after Christmas until the Saturday after New Year's Day, it's wall to wall football and I couldn't be happier if I tried.
Never Have I Evers:
November: read The Catcher In The Rye (still working on finishing up, but so far, I'm really liking it)
December: seen the Preservation Hall Jazz Band in person
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