Normally, I love christmas cards. I love receiving them. I enjoy writing them.
A few years ago, I had a lovely time retelling a story of my last christmas with Brian. He loved Christmas and lavished me with gifts. This was his holiday while I preferred our birthdays. They are a day apart and so you can see how easy it was to go extreme with the birthdays. It benefitted both of us.
For whatever reason, I did not have the same feelings for Christmas. I knew that he wanted the Bouchon cookbook, from Thomas Keller, that had just been released. I couldn't find it and so I settled for a Nobu cookbook.
Christmas Day arrived and we exchanged gifts. He opened his first and liked it, and then handed me a large gift. I knew it was a book and was a little confused as to what he had gotten me. I unwrap it and it's the Bouchon cookbook. I am devastated. I mean, it was what I had wanted to buy for him. My mind jumps to--well, this is a gift for him.
I unwrap the plastic wrap surrounding the book. I read the cover and I put it on the table. Truly, I had no interest in the book. It was his gift, not mine. He looked at me and said, "Harmony, you missed something. Here." He hands the cookbook back to me and I notice that there are two inserts in the book. I assume they are coupons for Keller's next book release. I open the papers and realize that he had bought us a trip to Las Vegas and we had dinner reservations at Bouchon. I was overjoyed and ecstatic! Again, Brian and tricked me and enjoyed the gift exchange as much as I had. I know that my reactions were priceless. I have never been a good liar. I express too much.
I wanted to share the christmas story and how fun it was to be able to make that my Christmas Story for 2006. 2007 was skipped since I was traveling. I had my blog and that was my way of relating my experiences while traveling during the holidays. I spent Christmas in Margaret River, Australia. That, too, was amazing, but different. I spent both days on the beach with a Scot, a Canadian and a Brit. I think I made myself rice and veggies for the celebratory dinner. We had pints at a pub and that was that.
2008, I sent out a letter. It was not very memorable and so I will not even attempt to remember it.
This year, I had little motivation to do anything. I am enjoying the weather, too much, I think, to think about christmas. Yesterday, I finally got in the spirit.
I am sending out some gratitude cards. Yep, I bought thank you cards. It seemed more interesting and genuine. I do have much to be thankful. I have a new apartment, with a concerned landlord. I love my neighborhood. I am 12 blocks from the Denver Public Library which is fantastic. I am closer to a Whole Foods to feed my tamari almond addiction and I am steps away from Argonaut Liquor Store. Lately, I seem to be restocking my wine more. Hmmmmmm.....could be my visitor.
Anyways, I am grateful for many things in my life. I look around me and see strife, war, negativity, Tiger Wood's affairs and our fascination with them, instead of focusing on what is important.
I opted to purchase gifts because I wanted to, not because I felt obligated too. And with that lack of obligation, the gratitude cards became a reality.
There is still time to donate to your local shelter, salvation army or hospital. If you are interested in a specific organization, check out http://freshairholiday.org. It is an organization that helps inner city kids in New York. Each year they arrange summer camps or stays with host families. Donating helps more kids be able to enjoy the outdoors and open their minds to opportunities/possibilities outside of their homelife.
Or, if you are a runner or new runner and want to plan a race in March, consider the NYC 1/2 on March 21, 2010. The Fresh Air Organization is hosting a team and would love donors or runners for that premier event. Think about it---New York in March could be lovely! I might even try to do it. The Goddess and I are still deciding on a 1/2 in either March or April. After April, she will be residing in Flagstaff, AZ, which is fantastic for her personal life, but sad for me and my running. I am sure that I will befriend another runner that motivates me.
I hope this finds you well and I apologize for the length. I felt it was important to build the gratitude story and I couldn't do it without mentioning my Bouchon book story. Be well!