Oh mes chéries, have you been good this year ;)? Santa Claus is just a few hours away from leaving the North Pole for your chimney, so it might not be too late to change that yet! As for me, there is probably no hope. Plus, I’ve belting Christmas pop classics and blasting Pentatonix’s new Christmas album nonstop today. Santa’s reindeers will go deaf before they even land on the roof.
This Christmas Eve, I sit here staring at my aunt and uncle’s little tree as I sip a fresh cup of coffee in an intricately designed mug with a gold branch-shaped handle. It’s my last Christmas at home before I move out, and the nostalgia of childhood Christmases are flooding back. The pile of beautifully wrapped presents under the tree, the cookies out for Santa Claus, the poinsettias carefully placed on the center of each countertop… I started thinking about what I truly wanted this Christmas, other than whatever was already wrapped in gold foil under the tree.
Last Christmas, I had a frivolous list. I wanted Louboutins. Longer hair. A shiny Lexus. A corporate internship. A Céline luggage tote. A size 2 body again. A Balmain dress. A cute boyfriend. I obsessed over all of it. And by January 15th, I had forgotten what the list even was because there was a new one already being drafted for my birthday.
Last Christmas, I wanted to stop feeling tired and broken. I wanted to stop feeling so disappointed in myself constantly.
Last Christmas, I swore that I would stop focusing on the old. Whether it was the old bullshit or the same silly items, it was time for new things, new people, and new beginnings.
Then at some point last Christmas, I gave up wishing and decided I was going to be my own present this year. I would spend the time, energy, and money earned in 2016 on nothing else but myself, my wants, my needs. I promised myself that come Christmas 2016, I would have a real Christmas wish list… whatever that meant. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
Since 364 days ago, I’ve accomplished quite a few goals, purchased quite a few frivolous things, and have never been happier. There is only one reason. I kept my promise to myself, and it gifted me with the best presents a girl could as for. No, it wasn’t all that ridiculous(ly wonderful) nonsense. Instead, my gifts came in the form of incredible new friends, an outstanding internship, an unforgettable summer in the city, unparalleled lolsy moments that could fill up my entire biography, beautiful college memories, the greatest life-lessons, and my childhood dream of moving to New York after graduation secured. In 2016, I went to around 8 concerts. One of them was the first annual Panorama Music Festival which I randomly and magically won three-day passes to. I cheered and jeered with my fellow seniors at multiple Pirates games. I pretended to be bougie at the ballet. I cried through Broadway shows with my future roommate. I nearly blacked out at New York speakeasies with my summer roommates and co-interns. I also finally got to experience Sleep No More at The McKittrick Hotel. I got a tattoo. I finally pierced my ears. I even invested in my first pair of red-bottom heels. My liver hates me. My body hates me. My wallet definitely hates me.
Tomorrow is my “Last Christmas” at home. My dad unfortunately couldn’t make it back from his business trip in time, but I still get to spend it with my mom, my aunt, my uncle, and my fluffy furry brat brother. They all asked me if there was anything else I wanted for Christmas this year, other than new work apparel and things for my future apartment.
My mind drew a blank.
For once, there was nothing I desperately pined for. I have the company of my family, the bonds with my college family, and an exciting new list of things to accomplish in 2017. Furthermore, everyone gave up telling me to shut up and stop singing Christmas songs since 2pm. What else could I ask for?
If there is a Christmas lesson I’ve learned in my 21 years, it is this: Santa Claus can spoil anyone with presents, but the best present you can give yourself is turning your wish list into a “real” wish list: a to-do list. Low looking back on my experiences and accomplishments this year, I feel a new kind of happiness. It’s not the bubbly kind that comes from ripping the snowman on the wrapping paper in half to find a new iPad, but rather a soft and peace within that you can only find through cherished moments.
Tomorrow morning, may you wake up and find yourself spoiled rotten with love and gifts. May your winter breaks be a warm close to this rough year. May your wish lists turn into kickass to-do lists. And may my dog finally love me enough to look happy to be in my arms.
Merry Christmas, mes chéries! Thank you for a wonderful year. Until next time, this mistlehoe is out! *dashes to the wine cabinet*