Ghosts of Christmas

The time has arrived. You are in the last eight days of 2013. How does that make you feel?

Where the heck were you in 1999 as the clock was about to hit midnight? How was the 14 years ago!? There are all kinds of articles about the relativity of time and how in its physical embodiment, it may actually travel at varying speeds for different people. The properties of time are thought to be different for someone running a marathon than someone slouching on their couch watching the latest episode of Mad Men.

It’s the time of year when people reflect, hope, dream, mourn, ponder, wish, regret, and search. Perhaps, even wander. There always seems to be a sense of lost-ness, but on the same side of that coin is the hope and cleanliness of an untainted wall calendar waiting to be filled.  365 (or 366) separate incidents of the sun rising and setting with moon in tow that provide opportunities across 52 weeks for you to carve, bulldoze, dance, slash, crawl, climb, struggle, swim, and conquer your way through life.

It’s daunting but freeing to have that kind of availability. However, if it’s any consolation, between losing 2000 hours for work and 2555 hours for sleep, you really only have 4205 hours to yourself minus meals, hygiene time, commuting, and minus another 430 hours for IRONMAN training, it’s pretty much down to 3775 hours of free time. Good luck!

I watched Christmas Vacation last night with some of my favorite little people (read friend’s kids) and not only enjoyed the chaos of the family relationships in the movie, but really appreciated the time spent with my buddy and his little ones. It was totally man night (Christmas Eve Eve) and we did guy stuff, talked about video games, and made pizza. Definitely a win in my book!

Christmas and the holidays are about tradition and togetherness, but what is it really about the holidays that brings back the memories? I think back over the years and other than waking up at 7 am by viciously attacking our parents , none of our Christmases have really been that similar. Sure, we were in the same location and did similar activities, but each one is different and each one always has a dose of some family drama (read: excitement).


(Not these ghosts).

It’s not a bad thing, but it seems that the focus this time of year is steeped in memories from the past that slowly create the “perfect Christmas” over time because of all the small moments. Very rarely do I treasure and value the huge, massive holiday events. Sure, we have great Christmas parties but it’s the teeny tiny stuff that we do year after year after year that paints the Christmas picture that I remember and carry with me over the years.

2013 is my first big adventure into the non-traditional Christmas world. I’m going to be opening presents with my family via Skype, going for a hike with my dog and no technology except my camera, and putting the rest of the day together as I see fit. It’s all just very weird. Perhaps a rendezvous with my high school buddies will somewhat realign my Christmas funk.

Perhaps my favorite change has been around gift giving. Sure as a kid it’s fun to hope for that huge present, but the older I get the more I appreciate tiny gifts that have far more of a reaching impact because they are meaningful and tailored specifically to the person being given to. I’m obsessed with Iron Man (and IRONMAN) and my friends sure take advantage. I have a buddy who once received a badass moose gift and now, moose is all he gets. I find the greatest fulfillment in giving gifts that are so specific and yet so unexpected that people are always pleasantly surprised. To me, that is the true demonstration of Christmas…

I’ve rambled enough. The clock is ticking. I hope you’re done with shopping, cooking, wrapping, baking. Now, it’s time for resting :-)

Merry Christmas!

Picture credit 1.


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