Whatever your holiday of choice may be, Happy [insert holiday]! Whether you’re lighting your menorah or putting ornaments on your in-house shrubbery, I hope your recent days have included a few too many presents and far too much cake. And even if you’ve simply been relaxing while the world runs amuck (lucky you), I hope you’ve put on at least a few pounds. Not only because it’s winter and you’ll need them to keep warm (except in LA), but also because the more you put on, the less people will notice how much I put on. See that? You still get to eat your slice of pie (or two), and I don’t look as ridiculous when I return to LA and am bursting out of my clothing. I think we call that a win win.
These past couple of weeks I’ve become more cultured than ever before. Not only did I light the 8th candle of the menorah to conclude the last night of Hanukkah (please contain your enthusiasm), but I did so as I read a prayer in Hebrew. I have absolutely no idea what I said, but you know what? It doesn’t really matter. I read in Hebrew and that itself is an accomplishment for a monocultural creature like me. And you can bet your sweet bit (goodness, Stephanie overdose) that I’ll be lighting that menorah for years to come. Mostly because then we can play dreidel and I get to eat gold coins. #motives
A few days after I had my first Jewish experience, I dove right into that New Testament and celebrated Christmas. We went to mass on Christmas Eve (then we don’t have to interrupt our toy-playing on Christmas Day), and the priest brought up some pretty valid points:
- Don’t drink and drive. Ever. It’s not worth it. (And if a priest tells you, then you know you really can’t do it)
- Jesus wasn’t ‘accidentally’ born in a manger. The manger was a trough for feeding cattle and swine, and Jesus then became the bread of life for all of humanity. (Mind blown)
- Jesus had grandparents. (I know, I know–it’s too weird)
- Don’t ever leave a Starbucks because people will inevitably start talking about you.
Okay, that last one is kind of a stretch, but the point is valid: as much as you talk about others, others are talking about you, too.
Church on Christmas Eve
We went to church, came home and had a good cry (okay, maybe that one was just me), tucked ourselves into bed and waited for the jolly ol’ guy to make his way down our (nonexistent) chimney and drop off the goods. We awoke Christmas morning to an unreasonable amount of presents (Santa spoils us) and hearts that had grown three times over night (please, get my Grinch reference). My family and I (Stephanie included) spent the day together and ended the night with some dessert, Apples to Apples (it would have been Cards Against Humanity, except we decided to keep it clean in honor of Jesus’ birthday) and liars’ dice.
I’ve been visiting with family in the mountains since the 26th, and although I’ve gained a few (and, no, I’m not talking style tips–although they’re much needed), I’ve loved every second of being with my family. The traditions and gifts are always fun around the holidays (and not to mention, the FOOD), but to me, the holidays are my time to just be. Be with my family. Be present. Be a slightly better and happier person than I was yesterday. Every holiday season the tangibles become less and less important, and the moments become increasingly more so. I guess that’s what they call growing up. And if that’s the case, then it clearly isn’t hell to be old; it’s actually quite a blessing.
As the New Year approaches and as everyone creates a ‘brand new them’ (in regular Megan-fashion, I’ll be guilty of this myself), I encourage you to brainstorm ways to create a different ‘you’. And not a ‘brand new you,’ but maybe just a ‘slightly improved version’ of you. And sure, maybe that’s hitting the gym more or actually making it to that yoga class once a week (life always gets in the way). But I challenge you to take it beyond your physical being. You’re still the same you, regardless of your casing. Think about what makes you, you, and think of ways in which you can strive to be a better human: a better daughter or son, mom or dad, student or employee. Maybe even just a better listener or a more attentive friend. Give yourself a reason to be who it is that you want to be; and more importantly than that, give yourself a chance to be that person.
“If you knew how capable you are, you’d stop worrying and start amazing yourself.”
There’s no better time than this moment; there’s no better person than you.
Keep doing all of the amazing things that you do and keeping pushing through those seemingly endless holiday parties. I know you’re sick of wine, but #fearnot: New Year’s parties will have champagne. See, we’re on the upswing.