Today I was driving home from the gym and I saw the strangest thing: someone had Christmas lights strung across the inside of their SUV. The inside! If I wouldn't have gotten into an accident, I would have done a double take. After this moment, I drove home hyper aware of the Christmas lights in my town. I was saddened to find that there were less than I remembered when I was younger. Perhaps this is just my perception, the nostalgic joy of being a kid driving around looking at Christmas lights with her family, versus the now-23 Grad student who doesn't believe in Santa anymore. But I swear, less and less people are decorating for Christmas, my family included.
There are obviously several reasons for this. The cost of living is sky high, unlike twenty years ago when my parents seemed less stressed. I remember vividly a house down the street from me that my family would always drive to. Their house and yard were covered, literally every inch, with Christmas lights. My father used to always remark about how high their electric bill must have been. It's no wonder that house doesn't put up those lights anymore.
Holiday time is one of the best times to see change. There are more commercials advertising Christmas shopping, earlier, than ever before. People are shopping for "Black Friday" deals on Thanksgiving Thursday. Christmas music starts playing days before Halloween. This "Cyber Monday" phenomenon is only a few years old. It all just seems wildly different than the way I remember the holidays from my childhood. I guess adulthood does that to fond memories and experiences.
Unless you're the guy with the Christmas lights in your SUV. That's dedication.
This last month of 2012 is full of exciting milestones. The semester ends. Christmas comes and goes. Then, all of a sudden, a new year with new possibilities. (Well, if we get past the infamous 12/21/12.) I think this time of year gives people intense stress, followed by the biggest sigh of relief imaginable. As though finishing up a semester isn't busy enough, us broke Grad students have to shop for family and friends on small budgets. But once the semester ends, we can all breath easy and forget about all that stress that bogged us down.
I'm looking forward to that moment.
On a completely separate note, today was the worst Monday ever. I'm sure everyone reading this knows the feeling of having a short, relaxing break from school and internship, followed by being smacked in the face by Monday. I stared at my ceiling for twenty minutes before getting out of bed today and lugging my tired self to Internship. Not only was it cold out, which is miserable, but my body is still dragging from our Thanksgiving meal the night before. (Because I worked on Thursday, my family had our Turkey Day on Sunday.) Mondays are the worst, but this Monday has to be the very worst. It's a taste of December/January break, but not long enough to truly settle down.
But soon, oh so soon, we'll all be basking in the zero-pressure feeling of "Christmas Break" for a few weeks, just enough to recharge. Raise your hand if you can't wait!
Oh! Edward Scissorhands is on TV. Talk about a Holiday classic! Until next time, folks!