• holidays irk me + here’s why •

Hello, my darlings!

Finals season is here, stress cakes are the main diet, sleep deprivation is the lifestyle… Oh, and Merry Christmas! Here’s a smile which I only deign to grace my features once per year; and while I’m smiling, let me be financially generous as well. Here’s a dime. Go buy yourself something nice.

Wow! Aren’t you just overwhelmed with the holiday spirit?

The holidays are the most depressing time of year for me because:

  • it’s not about family
  • it’s not about friends
  • it’s not about giving
  • it’s not about being thankful
  • it’s not about being joyful
  • it’s not about smiling at strangers
  • it’s not about singing obnoxious songs about jingling bells
  • oh and don’t say Merry Christmas – you might offend someone

The entire year is about these things. Okay, so the holidays give you an excuse to get together with friends and family. Great. But it’s not about them.

Holidays give you an excuse to give, be thankful, laugh a little more. Wonderful. But we should do these anyway. Every day ought to be a day of thanksgiving. To limit it to once a year is ridiculous and yet this is what people do. Giving, laughter, and being happy for no reason shouldn’t be limited to the 12 days of Christmas. Oh. Excuse me. “12 Days of the Snow + Fuzzy Socks Holiday” or whatever people call it nowadays.

I can’t say “Merry Christmas”? Is that really so offensive? That is a joyful phrase and it’s offensive but calling your girlfriend a b—- is not? I should get angry with you for saying the former but laugh at the latter?

That’s messed up.

Merry Christmas.

Merry flipping Christmas,
you filthy animal.

Q. So, Rana, now that you’ve depressed + offended us all, what is the holiday season about?’

A. Reflection.

In my humble opinion, the holiday season is about reflection. It’s about reflecting upon our Savior’s birth – the time He became one of us so He could free + love us for eternity.

It’s about reflecting on how we spent our year; did we make the right decisions? Did we love? Did we forgive? What should we work on to make ourselves a better person next year? Who do we want to be + what changes ought we to make to become that person?

But this makes us uncomfortable. We often fall short of who we want to be. We disappoint ourselves. We make mistakes. And we don’t want to think about or face that reality.

So we buy things, smile, sing songs, drink hot chocolate, wear fuzzy socks, and pretend it’s all good.

We need to stop ignoring the obvious. I think, then, we will actually be as joyful as we like to think we are during this time.

Peace + blessings,

Rana || xoxo

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A Pessimist’s Take On The Holidays

Hello, lovely!

I have a question: What does Christmas mean to you and how do you feel during the holiday season?

While you’re thinking about that, let me go off on a little tangent and answer that myself.

What does Christmas mean to you?

We’d all like to say that the meaning of Christmas is about:

  • the birth of Jesus (if you’re Christian)
  • being with family
  • giving
  • being kinder to people

But none of that is really true to the fullest extent, is it? Nah. No. A more honest answer would be:

  • trying to get through the anxiety of finding stuff for people at the last minute
  • struggling through the already-obnoxious Christmas music
  • impatiently waiting to figure out what people got us
  • wondering why the heck we signed up to help with all those Christmas-themed happenings

The mentality, of course, should be more along the lines of the first list, but if we look at it through the lenses of reality, that’s not really what the holiday season is about as we celebrate it.

  • Thanksgiving is about the food. Without the foot, we probably wouldn’t look forward to Thanksgiving.holidays
  • Christmas is about the gifts. Without the presents, we probably wouldn’t look forward to Christmas.

New Years is about getting dressed up, partying ’till the morning, and setting unrealistic expectations for ourselves. Without the traditions, we probably wouldn’t celebrate anything.

Thanksgiving should be about reminding ourselves of where we came from and remembering what the kindness (of people who were not like us) did. Without them, many of us probably wouldn’t be alive today.

Christmas is about Jesus; remembering what He did for us – humbling Himself to be like us in everything but sin to save our pathetic lives. He cried, He got hungry, He felt pain, He knew heartache on a more massive scale than we can imagine. Christmas is when we remember what He did for us and we should humble ourselves.

I heard from a mom that her daughter’s school play was going over every other religion’s meaning for Christmas except the Christian one. Like, what? You afraid to offend someone by including the reason for the season? Well, I’m offended by your not doing so. I’m totally cool with you including other religious traditions, but can we stop with the anti-Christ “Christ”mases? I’m sick of it.

I’m sick of this materialistic, superficial tradition that’s shoving the real reason why we do anything this time of the year out of the picture.

The New Year is supposed to give us a fresh start or something. But what’s the difference if we’re not going to follow through with our resolutions. Key word: resolution. We’re resolving some aspect of our lives. If you’re not totally committed, don’t even say you’re going to do something. Seriously. You’re setting yourself up for failure.

What do you feel during the holiday season?

To be honest, I feel quite lonely, tense, self-conscious (more so than usual), irritable. Everyone else seems to be really anxious or really happy. Obnoxiously so in either case. I’m already sick of Christmas music. So help me if I hear another “kissing under the mistletoe” line. I’m having a hard time not mentally murdering the people I like.

I think the biggest reason why I feel the way I do during the holiday seasons is because, everywhere I look, people are smiling and being kind, and I feel next to nothing. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, but it’s not fun. It’s like watching all your friends get into relationships and you’re just not even interested in people in general. It’s like being at a birthday party for someone everyone likes, but you don’t. Know what I mean?

Everywhere, people are feeling things and I’m not. It’s like I’m missing out on some bigger picture thing.

Another factor, I think, that contributes to this problem o’ mine is the fact that maybe I am seeing the bigger picture, and I’m constantly remembering why we’re celebrating and it just seems like no one else is. They’re all caught up in the moment, in the gifts, in the pretty paper, and ribbons.

The fact that people are kinder during this season is also pet peeve of mine. Why only around Christmas time are you a good person? Please be consistent. If you’re usually a kind person, stick with it! You’re awesome! If you’re usually a jerk, acknowledge the fact. We can work with that. But don’t put on a mask during the holiday season.

You can fake a smile, but people remember the way you made them feel throughout the rest of the year. Don’t be a faker. This is life, not a masquerade party.

I also detest the fact that no one says “Merry Christmas” anymore. It’s all “happy holidays.” Can we not?

I suppose if we got back to the real, raw meaning of our celebrations and made that the first reason we do anything, then the rest would follow more easily. Our decisions would be based, not on what is expected of us, but what we should be doing instead.

Now it’s your turn, darling. What does Christmas really mean to you and how do you feel during the holiday season?

Love,

Rana

{season: autumn}

She glanced to the left and then to the right. Her voice came through as a low, excited whisper. “It’s not official.” Her fingers tangled themselves in a plaid scarf, draped around her neck. “But guys… It’s autumn!”

That time for over-sized sweaters, long pj pants (if we’re blessed enough to get a cold front), boots, mugs of hot chocolate wrapped up in chilled fingers, thoughts of Halloween costumes, pies, red and orange leaves, and pumpkin-scented candles.

I’ve made apple cheddar biscuits (well, we didn’t have enough cheddar, so a more accurate description would be apple cheddar-and-Parmesan biscuits), a failed spice cake (through no fault of my own other than the fact that I used some out-of-date ingredient), and a chocolate velvet cake with butter-cream frosting (that I ended up half messing up because I’m an impatient cook/baker and I forgot to think when I decided to frost the cake before allowing it to cool completely…).

We decorated the house yesterday and pulled out the pumpkin-scented candles.

Here in Florida, we don’t get the seasons. But we like to pretend. 😉

What season is it in your house?

God bless!

Rana

Autumn

Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower.

Albert Camus

I don’t know who that guy is, but I agree with him.

Autumn is a beautiful season where the weather is not too hot, not too cold, and allows you to pull out those comfy, fuzzy sweaters you’ve been missing all year as well as that pair of cute boots you’ve stored away since it became too hot to wear them comfortably.

Because Autumn is a gorgeous time of year, Mom’s decided it’s time to decorate the house!

I took pictures. Because taking pictures are fun.

Without further ado, here they are, my lovely readers!

~*~

This is the mess we started out with.

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And then we did the coffee table. Did I mention we had a pet bunny? Yeah, it’s sort of like a pet rock…

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This is part of the living room.

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Can you tell my mom is a candle person?

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I’m not really sure what this is… but it’s pretty, isn’t it?

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Not only are we candle people, but we’re also HEALTHY candle people! Notice the bottle of vitamins on the unused marble cutting board we got as a Christmas gift one year. Oh yeah! We’re also tea people. Well, I am anyway. 😛 My favs are vanilla, vanilla chai, and pumpkin spice! We also have some herb tea stuff but it’s nothing you can buy at the store. 😉

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A gorgeous shot of of a window! 😛

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The table is all ready for fall!

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Ah, don’t do you just love fake plants? No watering, no tilling of the soil… they just… look nice.

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This is something my dad made (he’s very talented, as you can see). Yes, we were listening to Proof of Your Love by For KING and COUNTRY. Yes, we have Roku. And yes, we love books. And candles.

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The grandfather clock. (Wow, I thought “the Godfather clock” and was like, “Wait! That can’t be right.” You just read that in an Yzma voice, didn’t you?)

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Next, I headed outside to get some nature shots. ^_^

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Roses are beautiful. Even dying ones. There’s just something about them… They age with dignity, I guess.

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And it’s not like they’re jealous of the young roses either…

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I love the lighting in this picture… and the raindrops on the petals…

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Daisies are beautiful too!

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We’ve got quite a few oak trees around our place!

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This is a side shot of the house. Our lanai has glass windows all around. Isn’t that just dreamy?!

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Le driveway.

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Ma petite chat. (Sorry! Don’t know what’s up with the French!)

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Poinsettias are pretty flowers!

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I don’t know what these are, but they were purple and pretty, so I shot them (with a camera, of course!).

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Oh, look! Another purple thing! Except I know what this is! It’s a flower! Not sure what kind though. 😛

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And here’s a yellow one!

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This is a bird thing that I didn’t know was here until I started taking pictures of the flowers!

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The barn is on the left there behind the house. But this is mainly a shot of overgrown foliage that’s blocking the walkway around the oak tree in front of our kitchen window. 😛

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Gorgeous shot of a barbed wire fence, don’t you think? 😉

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Another shot of the driveway. I know, I know. We have a gorgeous driveway. *cries tears brought by the overwhelming sense of beauty*

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Some bushes.

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The other side of the driveway. It’s like a U-turn one.

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Alrighty! I hope you all enjoyed that because it took me forever to upload the pictures and stuff. 😛

God bless!

Rana