Christmas is a season not only of rejoicing but of reflection

23 Dec
Because what says Merry Christmas more than Drake taking off in Santa's sled?

Because what says Merry Christmas more than Drake taking off in Santa’s sled?

Every time Christmas and New Years roll around I experience a dull sadness. Christmas, which used to take excruciatingly long to arrive as a child now comes in a flash. Before I can get in the “Christmas Spirit” or think about buying gifts, the day arrives and I have no gifts to give and no nice Christmas outfit to wear. Up until a few years ago everyone in my family used to have a new pair of Christmas pajamas to snuggle into every Christmas Eve. It was adorable as children, and continued into adulthood as a joke and a necessary tradition. Now, I wear my mother’s heinous 80s Christmas sweatshirt (yes, sweatshirt – it’s not even a sweater). But when Christmas does arrive the day is sweeter than ever. And while the amount of presents dwindles every year as we get older, the memories are just as sweet and the traditions just as alive. I will always look forward to coffee on Christmas morning, frantic last minute baking, watching the druncles (drunk + uncles) recall memories of their boyhood in Keady over copious amounts of red wine, and playing unnecessarily raucous games of LCR.

As for New Years, I’ve never liked the holiday. New Years is the night  your expectations are so high (whether you want them to be or not) that the reality doesn’t stand a chance of reaching them. Last year I spent New Years in my Aunt and Uncles basement with all of my cousins, dressed in a baggy sweater and socks, playing beer pong on a ratchet homemade pong table composed of an empty big screen TV box, and had a fantastic night with no expectations. I still don’t know what I will be doing this New Years, but I also am unprepared to think about it yet.

NYE 2014 — Rafferty style

While some years are harder to say goodbye to than others, each leaves a sting when it dissipates at the stroke of midnight. I can confidently say that I am not ready to say goodbye to 2014 – it was a big year for me (and my Timehop has not let me forget that). 2014 was the last year that I got to spend (at least most of it) as a fake person – an adult that had not yet been forced into adulthood. I spent my last college semester appreciating the amazing people surrounding me, drinking an unhealthy amount, spring-breaking and letting go of any concern about a job. I had a lazy summer with some light job searching, traveled back to Ireland, had a family vacation in Maryland and then, by some miracle, I secured a job. I was a lucky girl in 2014. Looking back I can’t even remember a day worth complaining about (although I’m sure I complained a lot). 2015 has a lot to live up to, and while I’m glad it does, I also fear that nothing will top this past, glorious year of my life.

With that being said, it’s nearly time to take on 2015 and with no month long college-style breaks in my future, the challenge of having as fulfilling and adventurous a year in 2015 is REAL. But, it’s a challenge I am willing to accept. While I may be real now, I’m still young, and in 2015 I want to continue having boozy nights, live carefree when appropriate, appreciate those I love even more than I already do, and marry Eric Church – you know, all the simple things.

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