So this year, Christmas just came out of nowhere, like a surprise in the mail. Woohoo, I’m here! Hailing from Ohio originally, I’ve grown accustomed to having the typical Christmastime weather; a few feet of snow on the ground, gray and overcast skies, and the occasional snowman appearing out from the ground in the neighbor’s yard.  I don’t know many people who enjoy the cold, but I, especially during the holidays, long for it.  Being in Florida now for four years, I find myself missing the snow covered pine trees, the frigid, gray days, the fire roaring in the fireplace.  I sometimes think the love for the cold is ingrained in me; I grew up with the change of the seasons, the gradual descend into sub-zero temperatures, the days growing shorter, snow days off from school…

And while some people associate cold temperatures with depression, listlessness, and apathy, I find it very beautiful. There’s a certain calm in the air during winter.  The air, crisp and silent; the snow, a glittering blanket sheltering the earth underneath; snowflakes, each one unlike in their composition, watching them fall onto me quietly, studying their anatomy until they melt into a frozen stream of ice…

Christmas in Ohio

These are the things I miss during Christmas in Florida.  Where’s the snow? Where are the icicles that form beautiful stalactite-like formations from my roof?  Where’s the snowmen?  The illumination of Christmas lights painting colors across the snow…In addition to climatic changes, let’s take the current state of the economy.  I think this is the first year where I indeed was not in such a Christmasy mood.  In years past, I always began Christmas shopping about a month ahead of time, pulling decorations out of storage, and stringing up lights…However, this year echoed a whole different mood on the holiday.  I wasn’t scurrying around checking my list twice making sure I bought gifts for everyone and their mother…it was more like, okay let’s keep the budget about, under $200 this year.  With the current unemployment rate being around 9.8% and the news reporting new layoffs everyday, it just seemed like Christmas couldn’t come at a more inconvenient time. People were out there losing their homes and cars while Christmas commercials on TV were promoting gift ideas.  It just didn’t seem right.

Luckily, I don’t come from one of those families that put high pressure on you to buy, buy, buy.  If you can afford it and your bills are squared away, then happily give some gifts on Christmas, but don’t break the bank to do it.  When shopping for gifts, I always get humor out of observing people’s behavior around the holidays.  I think the holidays give people an excuse to be idiots, especially women. You know the type; the ones who are frantically moving about the store, shoving people out of the way on their gift buying rampage,  stealing spots in the parking lot, cutting you in line.  I hate those kind of people.  Maybe I’m too laid back about the holidays, but I just look at it as another day, but a day that is marked for time with family and those you love.  It’s not about some gift competition, to see who got the more extravagant, expensive gift, it’s about showing people you appreciate them, even if its not spoken in a monetary way.

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