Five For Friday: 2014 Christmas Edition

Hello Wonderlanders!

Today’s Friday Fives will be about “Things I Want to Do For Christmas In the Future.”

  1. Have everyone who is present on Christmas morning drinking hot chocolate with candy cane and marshmallows melted into the chocolate.  This just sounds so yummy and even though I’ve yet to try it, I’m sure it tastes awesome.  If you’ve tried this, let me know what you think of it below!
  2. Open one gift on Christmas Eve, and the rest on Christmas Day.  This doesn’t happen in my parents house because my 35 year old brother’s birthday is on the Eve and he’ll throw a fit if his day has to be shared with Christmas. I get that December birthdays suck for many people because their family and friends tend to clump everything into one gift given on Christmas, but there are ways to point this out politely without fit-throwing.  We also have started to open gifts later on Christmas Day for some reason.  When do you open gifts?
  3. Stick to one color theme, ornament size, and type of lights on the tree.  The definition behind the terminology of Obsessive-compulsive disorder does not apply here, it’s more an aesthetics thing for me – I like things to be coordinated and matching.  Things can also be coordinated and not matching, but it really depends on how well coordinated the mis-matching items are.  We don’t use a normal fluffy evergreen.  We have a tree in out background (it’s an evergreen, I’ll update the name later as I don’t remember it right now) and it has branches spread out and spaced out.  Which means there are distinct 6-12 inch gaps between each layer of branches.  We had mini ornaments on them, but then my mom bought large glass ornaments and put them up.  It just looked so darn odd.  We had to purchase some new lights as well but the type of light (white versus warm yellow) was mismatched so our tree was lit up at different lumens.  Plus, coiling the light up just didn’t look as nice and clean as on a full, fluffy pine, which brings me to point 4:
  4. Stick to fluffy pines in the future if putting up a tree.  I don’t care if it’ll be a real tree or a a fake tree at this point, but it needs to not have huge blatant gaps that drive me crazy.
  5. Either go all out for Christmas (house lights, decorations all around & other traditions), or do nothing at all.  I don’t celebrate Christmas for religious reasons.  I do it for cultural reasons, and the culture I live in is based on Christianity, but it doesn’t mean I am celebrating for the same reasons the founders of this country are.  So if I choose to not celebrate Christmas, it can be easily done.  For the past 8 years my parents have been half-assing Christmas with just the tree.  No more lights, no more full house decoration.  Nothing else gets put up or done so it really looks out of place to have that Christmas tree.  I love you mom and dad, but all this yo-yoing has got to stop.  Pick a side and stick with it.

What are some of your family traditions?  What are some, if any, traditions you’d like to incorporate with your family?  I’d love to hear back from you!

Season’s Greetings,

Allys

Thoughtful Thursday – Holiday & Christmas Edition

Hello Wonderlanders!

This holiday season, when you meet with family, try your damnedest to see things from other’s perspectives when you beg or fight to disagree.  Say “I love you” to the people that matter to you and mean from the bottom of your heart.  Treasure and cherish the moments you have together.  Put down that phone, that tablet, and that computer or other electronic gadget and be in the moment and present with your family and friends.  Create memories of attentiveness that will last a lifetime instead of missing the little things in your haste to document everything on video or photo.

We are too often confined and addicted to our gadgets and social media that we forget to live in the now.  Breathe.  Stop. Look around, smell the air, feel your environment with all of your senses and really try to mentally pay attention to what Uncle Bob is saying instead of staring down at your phone, nodding your head and saying “Uh-huh.”  Memorize people’s faces as you talk and really think about what they’ve said, what they’re trying to say, and what’s to be read between the lines.

Stop with the distracting accessories and really spend time with your family.  You’ll fall in love with them all over again as you pay attention to the genuineness of your interaction.

Merry Christmas from my family to yours! May the day bring you peace, love, and joy for the year to come.

Sincerely always, 

Allys

Whatnot Wednesday – A Merry Christmas Eve

Hello Wonderlanders!

I hope that you are having a wonderful time with your family(ies) wherever you are.  It’s the season to celebrate the good, and rejoice over the triumph of the less fortunate things that have happened in your lives.  I was going to do a post under Wedding Wednesdays under Christmas weddings, but then I realized that I didn’t really have any friends who would have a wedding at this time of the year that I know of.  This post is a bit more personal than my other posts, because I’ll be talking about my life at home and the things I experience.

I’ve wanted to write to pen pals for a long time, but never really had anyone to do it with.  Finding pen pals online was not an option because my internet use was limited as a child and throughout high school.  I never thought about it until I was on Instagram and started seeing a whole community of snail mailers who keep the art alive. After reading over several pen pal wanted ads, I finally responded to maybe 20 of them. By the end of day one, I had agreed to exchange letters with maybe 8 people.  By the end of day two, 14.  Tonight?  I’m on my 15th.  This is my cap for now.  It’s already a bit overwhelming thinking about how many people I have to start letters to, but it will be so worth it. I have 5 Stateside, and 10 international now, ranging from ages 16-36.  I think there is lots to be learned from people of different ages and from all over the world.  Learning is one of my passions, and letter writing will definitely foster that passion.  I’ll write more about the letters as time goes on, but I am definitely excited to be making new friends and seeing the world in a different way.

*I am writing this here as a bit of a warning that the rest of this post will be a bit of a downer.  If you want to maintain your holiday cheer, I’d like to bid you adieu, and enjoy your time with family and friends.*

It’s been a little bit of a rough week due to family issues.  In previous posts I had mentioned that home was a major trigger for me.  My mom has control issues and me being a round peg and not fitting into her square box personally is driving her nuts.  Her going nuts translates to me having various mood swings and wanting to be alone.  The person who patiently suffers through all of this is my dad, and I cannot thank him enough for his support.

Today is my brother’s birthday, and it sucked.  He is on parole and may possibly be incarcerated for violating his parole.  There are many ways he could have circumnavigated or prevented this instance of violation, but it occurred anyway which will be casting a dour mood on the rest of my holidays mainly because my mom is now uptight and anxious about what will happen to him.  He’s the middle child and my mom still babies him because he’s her natural born youngest, and he also did a good job blaming her for most of his troubles.  Not everyone who gets incarcerated is guilty, nor are they all innocent, but deep down in your heart when its someone you really know, you know what the truth is.  It doesn’t change that I love him, but I am angry at him, and respect him less, for the way he has handled things.  It’s a point of contention between our mom and I, but I know she’ll always choose him and that’s alright with me.

If you make the conscious decision to complete an action, take responsibility for the consequences, good or bad.  By doing so, you are truly being an adult.  When your words say a separate thing from your actions, no matter how mature you think you are, you aren’t.  It doesn’t matter if you have mental health issues – somewhere in your head, in your heart, deep within, you know right from wrong.  Accept your decisions as your own, and shoulder your responsibility instead of making it someone else’s cross to bear.

Wishing everyone the best from the bottom of my heart,

Allys