“This is Hogswatch, it’s a time to be jolly, with mistletoe and holly, and other things ending in –olly.” (From Terry Pratchett’s The HogFather)
The Holiday season used to be a favorite of mine when I was a child, back in Chicago. Snow, sledding, Christmas trees, lights, presents, and lots of time with family…
Over the last few years, however, I’ve found myself feeling a bit disillusioned by the holidays.
Part of this, I’m sure, is caused by seasonal depression. I’ve struggled with depression my whole life, and have noticed that it is significantly worse during the winter months. Whether it’s the cold, or the shorter days, I always seem to be a bit down once November rolls around.
This year is a little different from the last few. While I am still struggling with my depression, I do find myself feeling a bit happier, and a bit more in the Holiday Spirit.
Could it be because I recently got married? I’m sure that’s part of it. In the midst of struggles, and difficulties, I find myself smiling, thinking about the day that my best friend and I officially joined our lives together as partners in life. I’ve said it before, nothing much has changed in our relationship. We’re still best friends, we’re still open, and we’re still crazy. But at the same time, everything has changed. I can’t put my finger on what it is, but I didn’t think it was possible to feel closer to this man, who I know inside and out, and he knows me the same…but I do.
This holiday season, I find myself extremely excited for a handful of parties and celebrations. I’ve participated in a couple of gift exchanges, I’ve won a couple of items this year, I just feel festive.
I’m looking forward to our annual Hogswatch celebration. Pork pies, sherry, and “The Hogfather” have become a yearly tradition with some friends, and I can’t wait for this year’s party.
We also have a Christmas party with our little family…the two couples who we have dinner with every Sunday night, and some other friends.
In addition, we’re also doing an after Christmas Sunday dinner complete with a white elephant gift exchange.
The only thing I feel like doing this year, that I can’t do, is decorating a tree. I had one for a while, but the last year that I was in my apartment, about 4 years ago, it was falling apart really badly. I threw it away and never replaced it. It would be nice to decorate this year, but with so much going on (parties, and the possibility of moving), I think it would be just too much to deal with.
As the year comes to an end, it’s natural to reflect on all that has happened this year: good and bad…and there’s been a lot of bad this year, to be truthful.
There’s been SO much good though, it really warms my heart to think about it.
I will still save my “year in review” blog for the end of the month, but as Hogswatch rolls around, I really am feeling jolly…and other things…ending in “olly.”
My beloved and I started the year off on a high note with the NYE party we worked last year on the strip. We had our anniversary dinner at Gordon Ramsay Steak with some of our closest friends, and he surprised the hell out of me with a beautiful proposal. I’ve made several new friends through an amazing wedding planning forum. Morgan and I travelled to California to see Underworld, the original line up! We’ve had amazing nights with our dearest friends, Sunday dinners with people we love. One month ago, we got married. We had a ceremony that people are STILL talking about. I met one of his oldest friends and his dad. He finally got to meet my extended family. We had an amazing weekend filled with friends, love, and each other. We’ve had game nights, and movie nights. Taken care of each other when the other is sick. We adopted a puppy, so now we have TWO fur kids! I’ve participated in 2 gift exchanges with some amazing women. We’re looking at houses to move into that will ultimately save us some money. And finally, we won a trip to anywhere in the contiguous 48 states: paid air fare and hotel for 3 days, 4 nights. We can go anywhere we’d like, and so we are exploring options for a fun vacation next year.
With all the madness in the world these days, the world needs more love. So, please allow me, from the bottom of my heart, to wish you and yours a very Happy Holiday season. Whatever you celebrate, or don’t celebrate: from Hogswatch to Hanukah, from Yule to Christmas, from Kwanza to Pancha Ganapati, From Boxing Day to Newtonmas, and everywhere in between, may the rest of the month be full of love, light, laughter, mistletoe, holly…and yes…other things…ending in “olly.”