Post-Christmas Musings

I had a great Christmas! I flew back to Erie to spend time with old friends and family. An aside: I have come to the conclusion, after moving away and moving back and moving away again, that Erie suits me much better as a place to visit rather than as a place to live. While in town I got to meet my niece, Molly - a miniature Pinscher belonging to Donna with a wardrobe to rival Paris Hilton (the dog, not Donna). I also got to see my nephew, Owen, who is actually human, going on two years old and extremely busy! Of course I got to see my sis and my mom and my entertaining extended families. I even got to spend a considerable (but not nearly enough) amount of time with my favorite blue-eyed sommelier. Even the lack of snow and the nearly constant rain couldn't dampen my delight at being back in my hometown for Christmas.

No matter how wonderful the holidays are, it's always a little bit sad when they're over. I'm not really sure why that is. I realize Christmas is an annual thing and in another 363 days it will be Christmas again. Still, for me, the magic is over, winter stretches before me and I'm going through Post-Christmas Depression. Don't worry, it's not severe enough to warrant Prozac or anything. Part of it probably has to do with not being able to pack up my favorite people to bring back home with me. And not knowing when I will get to see them again is dismaying.Some life decisions are harder than others. I want it all. I want to live in my new city with my new friends and my new job...and yet I want the comfort and familiarity of my old friends and old town. I want to experience new things and grow in my career...but at the same time I don't want to sacrifice close attachments. It's a dilemma and became very apparent while I was home for Christmas. Maybe that has something to do with my PCD.

Thankfully I am not prone to extended bouts of depression. Things in life happen for a reason, right? I'm sure a few martinis on New Years Eve will pull me out of my brooding mood! :)


Christmas on Wheels

Recently, I've witnessed a phenomenon that somehow has escaped my attention for the past 30 years - it could be I've just never noticed it before or maybe this trend has only recently come into vogue or maybe people up north simply don't participate in this particular holiday tradition. I'm speaking, of course, of vehicular decoration.

Now, I am no stranger to Clark Griswold syndrome (i.e. over-enthusiastic Christmas decorations a'la National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation), but the idea of decorating my car has never crossed my mind. Perhaps I don't have nearly as much Christmas spirit as I think I do.

I have witnessed wreaths affixed to front grills, colorful lights wound around luggage racks, green garlands and red bows, reindeer antlers and Rudolph noses, bright stars and jolly Santa hats, even a large glowing sleigh strapped to the top of an SUV. As I was appreciating and pondering these mobile monuments to the sparkly goodness that is Christmas, I further pondered the people driving these vehicles and came up with a mental list of who these people could be:

1. A soccer-mom with way too much time on her hands, who was not content in simply decorating her home, her front porch, her mailbox, her church, her child's classroom...etc.

2. Someone who actually lives in their vehicle, thus technically they are decorating their home for Christmas.

3. A husband who was forbidden from participating in the house decorations (see Clark Griswold syndrome above) and, in a fit of protest, decided to decorate the family vehicles.

4. Someone too lazy or too busy to go to the trouble of decorating their house, but thought, "hey, I'll decorate my car instead, it's WAY smaller than my house!"

5. A shopaholic who went a little overboard at Big Lots and had to find a use for all of the extra decorations bought on impulse.

6. Someone who desperately wants to be invited to participate in next year's Christmas parade and is doing a practice run.

I don't know...if you or someone you know has ever participated in the seasonal decorating of the vehicle, I would appreciate any insight into this unfamiliar holiday behavior. :)


'Tis the Season

The unseasonably warm weather, the lack of apartment decoration, the unsuccessful shopping trips, and the work deadlines have all been contributors to my rather lackadaisical Christmas enthusiasm recently. But last night, all was forgotten as the Christmas glamour washed over me at the Annual TMP Christmas Party! This was actually my first ever holiday office party (having never been indoctrinated to office culture before) and I didn't know quite what to expect. You always hear about how boring and cheesy office parties are, and how you just have to grin and bear it and get it over with as quickly and painlessly as possible - so my expectations were not high.

The venue was a snotty country club out in Franklin replete with stonework, steep pitches, and exposed beams. Inside we were greeted by a roaring fireplace, Christmas music, efficient waiters passing around trays of tasty tidbits, and an open bar(!) The Cosmopolitans and conversations were great. The dinner was elegant and delicious. The games were fun and funny (I won the baby picture guessing game - woo hoo!). And the tipsy co-workers were highly entertaining!

An aside: Down here, the drink of choice is Jack...and let me tell you...the guys I work with can seriously put down some Jack! Within the first 45 minutes of the party, the bartender informed us that she had already gone through 3 bottles of the potent stuff - keep in mind that including spouses and s.o.'s, there were only about 50 of us. Yeah, there were some very happy architects last night! (And a very amusing incident with a bush!)

I can only assume that part of the reason for the huge Christmas party success was due to the fact that I am fortunate enough to work in a very close-knit firm where everybody gets along, co-workers feel more like brothers and sisters, and everyone has a fun sense of humor (insert warm fuzzy feeling here).

My Christmas spirit is now revived!


Under the Weather

I think I may have overdone it with the Christmas enthusiasm. The Christmas overload build-up all began Thursday night as I made plans to go see the Repertory Theater's production of "Jacob Marley's Christmas Carol" (yay!). Then Friday at work, everyone was buzzing about the upcoming Christmas party (which sounds like it's going to be F-U-N!) and, I was antsy with anticipation all day long, looking forward to picking our Secret Santas (I know - I'm a dork - I can't help it).

Then Friday night was the Nashville Christmas Parade downtown, which I dragged Kelly to in the freezing cold temperatures, and where we stood outside for nearly two hours watching the procession of bands, and floats, and balloons, and lights, and Christmas music and of course, Santa Claus! Just the day before we had been enjoying 75 degree weather. Last night it was in the 30's. But hey, it was a CHRISTMAS PARADE - c'mon people! like I'm gonna miss THAT! - it was totally worth the frost-bitten digits in my opinion! Then this morning I woke up early to go out Christmas shopping at the ridiculously crowded stores - all I ended up getting was a pair of shoes (for me!).

And now, I'm sick. Stuffy head, post-nasal drip, achy muscles, sore throat...very unpleasant. Thus, tonight I'm taking a little time to recuperate so I can continue my Christmas binge at my earliest convenience!