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*~*Holiday Traditions*~*

For many American families, the holidays are a time to celebrate Christmas and the New Year. For some families the traditions look a little different because of the different holidays celebrated. Whatever the case may be, the holidays are a time where families get together. But it’s not just the immediate family. This includes the extended family and anyone else who is considered a part of the family. It’s one of the times during the year when everyone gets to see everyone again and catch up. Sometimes there’s a lot of good feelings, other times there are some not so good feelings. There might even be a few inside jokes here and there. But for the Ye family, it’s not like that.

I’m not sure how many American families go through the holidays like this, but I’m sure my family isn’t the only one. I have a big family, especially on my father’s side. In this way we are no different from many American families out there. We just don’t get to see everybody every year because most of the extended family is in China. So while everyone else gets together at Grandma’s or whatever, we get together at home, at my parents’ house. The immediate family was my dad, my mom, and me. Now it’s just me and my mom. Yes, I lost my dad in 2018 and just a few days ago on the 3rd, I lost my cat. She was a part of my immediate family in the sense that I loved her like a family member. I believe pets really do become a part of the family and losing her was one of the hardest things I just went through in my life. I know I sound dramatic, but I don’t care. She is my first cat I have lost this way and things will never be the same going forward. But her story is for another time.

I am lucky I still have my mom. She keeps in touch with her side of the family on a regular basis because she loves her sisters to death (excuse the diction here) and wants to keep tabs on Grandpa. However, like my cat story, right now I’m not going to get into why we don’t really keep in touch with my dad’s side of the family, especially now that he’s gone. So it’s just the two of us. We are a small family, but we have the flexibility to do whatever we want. We don’t have to follow any traditions and there are no awkward uncles to face.

This past Christmas Mom and I went to see the new “Little Women” movie that came out that day starring Emma Watson and Meryl Streep. It has always been this way, but we noticed the movie theater is one of the few places that stays open on Christmas Day and therefore one of the only places you can buy food should you not have food at home. We immediately thought you could spend the whole day at the movies on Christmas Day if you wanted. I’m going to remember that in case I ever need it. We don’t really have any traditions. I think at the beginning, we did – with decorations and dinner parties and presents and even cards. Remember those? Then my cat would always play with the Christmas tree until the whole thing got knocked over. Then I went away to college so we started taking family vacations every year around Christmas break since there were no family friends nearby anymore. Then two Christmases ago he was gone and Mom and I haven’t found a new routine yet.

The holidays don’t feel like anything different compared to what many families in America experience. It’s just the two of us. No travelling, unless we decide to go on vacation. No traditions because I’m too old for presents and Mom and I both don’t like getting a lot of “stuff.” We’d rather spend time together and gain experiences instead. So really the holidays equals a big question mark for us at the moment.

 

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little gems

The words never come at the time you want them to. :/

The joy of Christmas didn’t hit me until yesterday morning, Christmas morning, when I put on some Christmas music and started dancing to it in my underwear. Shh! :X (*gasp* I know, you’re not supposed to know this, but I’m telling you anyway. I blame ConCru. Since meeting them and writing with them I’ve become a little more personal in my writing, although still shy about sharing my deepest, darkest secrets. I mean there’s more than one way to do this, obviously, but while taking writing classes at university I developed the belief that a really good writer is not afraid to get dirrty and show the detailed truth about living.) It occurred to me that dancing in my underwear is like dancing in a bikini. And it made me laugh like little gems of revelation usually do. And it made me look at my body in the mirror. And it made me realize that yeah, I don’t look exactly like those pictures in the magazines or a pageant contestant during the swimsuit competition, but I like what I see in the mirror. And that my lovelies, was a reason to be joyous all in itself.

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it’s got to feel like Christmas again

I made it home yesterday, after a two-hour drive with my caterwauling tabby in the single digit weather. I woke up today and it didn’t feel like Christmas. We don’t have any Christmas decorations up around the house. We don’t have Christmas music playing (though I did play my one “Nutcracker” CD on the stereo today). We’re not going to have a big family reunion. We’re not exchanging presents either.
It didn’t feel like Christmas. Instead, it felt like Stress. And the thing is, it shows on my face. Yes, I have broken out. I am also acting like a person who hasn’t gotten laid in a while. (You get the idea.) So what am I stressed about? Two different career paths I have to work on, getting more into shape, lining up my life to be more like what Jesus would want and relationships that need repairing, letting go, or starting. Well, I guess when you get Stressed, you get Pimples Galore. Yeah, I look like a toad right now. It’s not pretty. What’s really sad is I probably got this way from overanalyzing people. I know, I know. A writer overanalyzing people. What a shocker.
But no, really. One of my strongest strengths is the skill of observation. It’s a blessing and a curse. I can do detail-oriented work, but I can’t be around people for too long. In addition to my Pimples Galore, I have tired eyes that say I’ve been losing sleep on everything I’ve been thinking about. I’m not sure I even have a point to this post. I have a lot to work on and Christmas has got to feel like Christmas again.