I can clearly remember 'Christmas' in my youth essentially spanning the whole month of December. Due to a combination of childhood greed and anticipation; a birthday and Christmas double extravaganza; and a general buying into of the holiday spirit and tradition - by the time the first of the last month rolled around, I was usually out of my head with excitment.
There is a specific age range as a kid where everyone in your family, extended or otherwise, considers you young enough to still buy gifts for. Therefore I can remember clearly that in the first week of December, the parcels for me would start arriving in the mail. Even though they were days early, I would beg and plead to open them, and often got away with it. Now, the real thrill was that even as the 7th approached and past, the packages often continued to come regardless of whether it was the week prior, of, or after the day of my birth.
It was usually for some simple reason, such as trying to reduce their postage, but not infrequently my birthday presents that arrived later, from relatives further abroad, would be nonchalantly harmonized with Christmas presents also intended for my chubby, all consuming paws. Thus, the effect became that December was my month, my Birthday and Christmas were obviously deeply linked, and that the greatest alias for the twelfth month that ever should have crossed your mind was 'gift month for Sean'.
Needless to say, my perspective has changed fairly drastically. The old cliche that giving is more satisfying than receiving is certainly true - but when you couple it with my disenfranchisement in religion and a general contentment with my age current, then the reason for the season was sort of lost to me. New birthdays no longer unlock privledge and responsibility, the holiday holds little spirituality for me, and I no longer need tubs of lego to pass the time. The consequence is that I've been given a blank slate for the definiton of the holiday season:
The holidays for me are a time to be with the people you like, drinking spiked coffee, and taking that little bit of pleasure out of giving to another. No, I'm not big on corporate Christmas, or Jesus Christmas, but I am big on Christmas being a little looser in definition. Therefore, I wish you a very merry Christmas, regardless of how you spend it! The holidays are what you make of them - so I'll see what I can do.
I feel like the pressure is really on to get the most of these last few days in Canada. I am just twelve days away from leaving for Africa, and I won't say I'm scared, but I can feel a energy building in me. The scariest thing isn't that I'm going, but that it still hasn't really hit me that I am - and it probably won't until I'm on that plane at a 45 degree angle, watching the ground disappear. Packing is being finalized, and everything is falling into place - it is about time to adopt my game face.
def. a confident swagger you bring out when you are getting ready to tackle something difficult, or when you are about to take on a challange. Or when you are getting down to buisness.
Thanks for reading and Merry Christmas,