Christmas and anxiety

If you’re anything like me, Christmas and anxiety go hand-in-hand. Being around family is extremely stressful on the regular, even more so when they have heightened expectations of the holiday at the front of their minds.

I’m proud to have survived yesterday. I kept it cool, calm and collected the entire day. I wanted to set some people straight, but I didn’t. I didn’t because I knew the fight it would start would not be worth it. I wanted to remind people of expectation versus reality, but I didn’t. When their reality doesn’t live up to expectations, that’ll be for them to figure out. I don’t have to tell them about it.

I took a brief, one hour hiatus to hide in my room and calm down. Family is stressful, and I’m a firm believer that if you need to take a break, you should take a break.

I survived. No one fought. No one left in a fit. No one broke any dishes or threw away any presents or any of the other things that have happened in previous years in my family’s home. Everyone just existed, cohesively.

Next year, though… next year I’m taking Knight and we’re going to Mexico. Or, somewhere far, far away.

Hope everyone had a wonderful, stress-free or least-stress-possible Christmas!

Joyeux Noël

May the spirit of holiday last for more than just one day,
Because loving, sharing and giving, you should never put away.
While you may pack the decorations and put them on a shelf,
Remember the good you do for others is the good you do yourself.
So practice kindness during the holiday and all the year through,
Show your loved ones they’re important, that they matter deeply to you.

Whether you’re celebrating or not, I am wishing the happiest of holidays to you and yours. May this time of year be a reminder of all of the good in this world, and where there’s room to grow because the world always needs more of it.

XOXO,
Vee

P.S. I asked Santa for a new job for Christmas. Do you think he can pull some strings?

True Christmas spirit and damn good marketing

A local restaurant is advertising that between boxing day and January 15th they will accept any and all gift cards to any store, website or business that someone got as a Christmas present as cash to pay for meals in their restaurant.

If someone gets a gift card they didn’t/don’t want for Christmas, they can use it as currency to purchase a meal in this restaurant before January 15th. The restaurant is collecting all of the gift cards and will distribute them evenly amongst the three shelters in town at the end of January for the shelters to use to purchase necessities, supplies and gifts for the people they help in 2020.

How cool is that?

It’s going to encourage a lot of people to eat at that restaurant, who wouldn’t normally have gone out of their way to eat there. It’s going to give to those in need in 2020. As a consumer it gives you a way to make use of a gift card you might not have otherwise used. As a restaurant it showcases your generosity and caring about the community you operate in. As someone who needs, they know they need all year and not just during Christmas. I really hope this does a lot of good for everyone. I love the idea and wish I could scream it from the rooftops to tell people to go eat there.

The Holidays either bring out the worst or the best in people.

I’ve spent the majority of today helping my mother finish some errands that she needed to get done ahead of Christmas.

After being met with ‘Fuck you, bitch’ and ‘Get out of my way, idiot’ in store, being cut off in traffic and having people flash me the middle finger while driving, having someone berate me because they didn’t like my park job, I was tired. So tired. I didn’t want to be out anymore. Grumpy people are exhausting on regular days, but when there’s so very many of them out this time of year, it’s exhausting to try and deal with.

My mother and I went into Winners for the last stop of the day and she wanted to get one pair of sweatpants for each of her sons. (She does it every year) I was just excited that it was the last stop of the day.

With four items in tow, we approached the till and it was quite a long line with only one physical till open.The woman who walked up behind us appeared to only be purchasing a coffee mug and she had a toddler who was begging her to go and whining that they didn’t want to be in the store anymore.

My mom offered that she go in front of us because, while it wasn’t a big difference in time, it was just that much faster. The woman said thank you, went in front and then she asked my mom who she was buying for. My mom told her she has four sons and she buys them one nice pair of sweatpants every year instead of pajamas. They went on to chat for a couple of minutes while they waited for their turns in line at the till and I just stood there awkwardly left out of their conversation just lurking.

When we got up to the till the cashier scanned through each pair of the pants, she pushes a couple of buttons on the till and then says ‘I owe you $14.90’.

What?

My mom and I were both incredibly confused.

The cashier said ‘The woman in line in front of you gave me a $100 bill and asked that I use it to pay for your clothing, give you any change that is left over, and wish you a merry Christmas… so, MERRY CHRISTMAS!’ she said.

Wow.

It was such a shock and a huge deal for my mom. She’s basically been budgeting since August for Christmas and the woman in line in front of us paid for our gifts out of goodness and kindness and sheer shock! She didn’t stick around to see the look on my mom’s face or anything. We couldn’t even say thank you. By the time we learned the woman in front of us had paid for my mom’s gifts, she’d long since gone.

Today’s been such a weird day. I was totally hating on humanity for all of the ugly behaviour I saw this morning and afternoon at our various stops of the day, and then this woman comes along and pays for Christmas gifts for my mom ‘just because’ and totally turns my whole mood for the day around.

To the kindest of strangers, thank you. Just being able to keep that extra $100 in her bank account, for my mom this time of year, means a great deal to her. I wish I could have stopped and thanked you in person.

The difference is amazing.

I love junk food. I really do. Chips? Good. Skittles? Good. Pop? Really good. But, the difference I feel in my well-being when I actually choose to eat healthy in a day is astonishing.

I think I’m going to make one of my new year’s resolutions to eat healthier. I’m the type of person that runs to junk food when I get sad, or even mad. It’s a definite crutch, and while it’s tasty, it’s not good for me.

Food plays a really big role in how your body functions. I’ve always known this but it’s affecting me so much more these days than it did when I was a teenager.

Eating healthier in the new year, that’s what I’m going to do. I won’t say I’m cutting junk food completely. I’m a firm believer that small doses of anything is great for the soul. But, I’m going to try to cut the junk food. I think that cutting it by 50% would be a really good goal for me. I think that’s what I’m going to try and do.

But after Christmas. Because someone went out of their way to make me gluten free, dairy free Nanaimo bar and I want it.

Do you have any New Year’s Resolutions?

What do you want for Christmas?

Photo Credit: earth.com

I find this question really interesting to ask people because there are so many different ways a person can approach this question.

There’s people who’ll say “a million dollars” and people who’ll say “I don’t want a thing”. There’s people who’ll say items that they really know and love, and people who’ll provide practical options they know that person can afford. Some people even ask for donations to be made in lieu of gifts.

Honestly, to me, what people provide as an answer tells me a lot about who they are. Not that any one answer is better than another. Well, perhaps some answers are better than other’s. If you told me you wanted to kick a puppy for Christmas then I’d think you’re a bad person But, that was a huge tangent and I should get back on track. For the most part, when people answer this question, I really think it tells you a lot about who they are. I read a lot into what people ask for Christmas.

Me? People look at me oddly when I say it, but I tend to tell people that I want the staples for Christmas gifts. Shampoo, conditioner, body wash, toothpaste, makeup remover… these types of things. Is that weird? Possibly. My thoughts behind it is, if people give me these things as gifts, and I can use them for the next 3-6 months (or longer depending on what they give me) then that’s expenses that I don’t have to worry about. It’s practical to me. And I think that’s really thoughtful. I mean, whoever buys me those things are going to be giving me something that I’ll like and get use from.

Decorative blankets are great and all but there’s only so many of them a girl needs, ya know? And heavens, I’ve got enough clothes, shoes and accessories. I don’t need any more. Of course I’m always thankful for someone thinking of me, but if someone is going to go ahead and spend their money on me, I just hope they’d take me seriously when I say I want thinks like shampoo and toothpaste, etc…

I’m curious to know, what do you want for Christmas? Are you the ‘ask for everything’ type? Are you the ‘ask for something I know they can afford’ type? Are you the ‘I don’t want anything’ type? Or do you prefer experiences over tangible gifts?