We enjoy warmth because we have been cold. We appreciate light because we have been in darkness. By the same token, we can experience joy because we have known sadness.
Christmas weekend at home was perfect. i got to see family members who i like; i didn't have to see many i don't like. my family and i got to share the holiday with two of my long-time friends, Cassifrass and Kim. i got a few nice gifts, including gift cards that will keep me in lattes and new sweaters for a while.
moreover, i appreciated the holiday so much because past holidays weren't always enjoyable. i used to dread going home for Christmas. there were several years when i wished that i could stay in my dorm room or my apartment and share the holiday with myself. no amount of gifts could make up for fighting parents, estranged siblings and guilt trips from family members who i didn't make time to visit.
so much has changed. my relationships with my Ma and my brother have improved and have even become fun. i enjoy time with them now. a house that was once full of anger and bitterness is now a home full of love, a warm home that welcomes guests, both family and friends. it's amazing and encouraging to see such drastic changes. i wish i had known, when i was younger, how much better it would all get. i'm glad that i now know to appreciate quality family time while we still have it.
of course there were a few low points during my visit to the homestead. for example, a lot continues to go unsaid between me and my family members, such as why i haven't brought a special someone home for Christmas like everyone else at the party did. also, spending time with my cousin and neighbor, both of whom are only a few years older than me and both of whom have the most beautiful children, made me somewhat envious. and of course there were reminders from my Ma that she'd really like grandchildren soon. cue me pointing at my older brother, who simply shook his head "no." not going to happen, Ma. sorry.
all things considered, it was a very lovely holiday. one of my best ever.
now i'm back in Philadelphia, buried under 6 or 8 inches of beautiful snow, and enjoying the day off before i return to work tomorrow. it's surprising how productive you can be without getting out of bed. Mr. Finch and i are comfy and warm and surrounded by pillows as i write this. what did people do before the advent of laptops?