What has effected you this holiday season?

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It's less than a week until Christmas. Everything is buzzing. What have you seen, heard, experienced so far this season? What are you most looking forward to? What has effected you most?

-- suzen (suzen@neuki.com), December 20, 2000


this season marks the last christmas i spend with my family until i go off to college next fall. i am setting myself apart from my family as much as i can. this makes me nervous, because, a cause de moi, there's tension in this family, and i don't know what to make of it. in a way, i really don't care if i am indirectly hurting my parents from locking myself in my room or spending hours upon hours downtown, away from home. it's the first time i really haven't cared. it's a new feeling. it's fresh. but still tied down with ropes. does this make any sense?

-- marmi (popyura@triatic.net), December 20, 2000.

its funny....last night after finishing my finals i went to the mall with a friend. i looked around at the odd mix of yuppies, college students and rednecks... wearing santa hats and carrying more bags than they could hanle, all while stumbling around to various christmas tunes, barely audible over all the buzz. It was at this point i realized it WAS Christmas. I've spent the last few weeks overcome with fear. I am in my last semester of college and applying to law schools. My standarized test scores are marginal and I should have had my applications out weeks ago. However, its pretty hard to convince yourself to write personal statements when you're constantly writing papers and forcing yourself to fight your impulses to go running, play on computers and go to the bar in a futile attempt to graduate with honors (something which would be assured had it not been for a bad biology grade freshman year). This seems to be the least of my concern as I'm also hoping that the week i spend at home around Christmas will be one of my last. I want to move away right after graduation, but i fear i will be stuck at home for at least the summer because of expenses. I can't handle that. I grew up in a tiny little town in the middle of nowhere. No one i knew even lives there anymore and its impossible to find a job. Add to this the stress that I have literally no control over where I end up, its all up to the law schools. The one I really want probably won't let me in, which doesn't make me happy. But what I think might bother me most of all is the fact that I've been involved with someone for the past year or so...and his hometown is a good 10 hours from mine, we just go to the same school. I don't know how far i'll be from him and how i'll handle everything as a year round LDR. It scares me...and constantly dwelling on thoughts like this pretty much cause me to drain all the joy out of my life and forget that things such as the holidays exsist. yeah. so what i'm a looking forward to? knowing where i'll be in six months would be nice. :)

-- (lfeller@rochester.rr.com), December 20, 2000.

I am looking forward to a family Christmas where WE ALL will sit in the family room for more than 5 minutes together. I'm looking forward to our family meeting where we can talk about family issues and concerns, it has been a while! I'm not looking forward to missing my daughter when she goes to the States, worry will be my second name. I'll worry about her being in a strange place on her own, drinking on an airplane or any where else, driving on the highway in the winter, forgetting she has a home to come home to, feeling depressed when she comes back and not talking about it. This trip will probably give me more than my share of gray hairs.

-- MOM (wizziegreen@hotmail.com), December 20, 2000.

I think the thing that has moved me the most so far has been the generosity of complete strangers from all over the U.S. I ran an online toy drive from November until two days ago to benefit a homeless shelter in L.A. It was a complete success. I just put up the website and spread the word. A few weeks later I was drowning in Barbies, Transformers, and Pokemons. The Internet CAN be used for the powers of good!

That and I'm really looking forward to watching my better half open his gifts on Christmas morning. He's gonna freak:)

Merry Christmas. And Suzen, tell your mom that her daughter rocks the party that rocks the party. You'll be fine:)

-- Flea (feliciaelena@yahoo.com), December 20, 2000.

What has affected me the most...the man I love is on an army base thousands of miles away in Alaska...and today is the one year anniversary of the day he came home from boot camp and I saw him for the first time in six months. *Sigh*

I'm looking forward to forgetting all of these sad things sometime soon and having at least some Christmas spirit!

-- Tiffany (mapleberry@hotmail.com), December 20, 2000.

this christmas actually hasn't affected me at all, as of now. i haven't been shopping, just working a lot to get my finances in order. i'm away from my parents, and although i will be going to portland to visit my mom this weekend, it hasn't sunk in.

this is unlike any other christmas of my life.

-- amber (amber@enigmatic.org), December 20, 2000.

i went shopping the other day, last minute of course, as always. i was standing ready to check out my items when i noticed this rather obese lady buying some red&green holiday colored satin, lacy thongs. for herself, maybe? or for her 13 year old niece? whichever one, i can never look at the colors red&green the same way again, at least not during the holiday season (can you say "jiggle-jingle butt?"). im going to scratch off "red&green thongs" off my christmas santa-list for next year. that's what effected my holiday season and at the same time, traumatized me as well.

-- miss gracie (phatvixen@aol.com), December 20, 2000.

Everything is buzzing.. more so in my head than any flourescent light fixture or radio that's tuned to the wrong frequency. It's the whole Christmas season "kerfluffle" that I love to hate - when the snow on the road is just a friendly reminder to take it slow, and people who walk so aimlessly in front of you at the mall aren't *that* slow - especially when you're doing your last minute shopping.

It's took the past couple of years of convincing myself during this season that I actually do like it, and this is really the first year where I say that I don't, not because I'm the rebellious teenager everyone thinks I am, but because I'm fooling around with the notion that I've never really liked it until now. I think it's this that makes me want to make up for it now.

So, to summarize, I enjoy the Christmas feeling in the air. I still hate the shopping, the running around, the eggnog that never really tasted that good, and the family parties where a whole year of your life is supposed to be summed up into a 5 minute conversation which consists of more transitional literary devices than one could shake a stick at. But overall, it's good times for a time of year when you can just sit back and think.. wow, I really have *nothing* to do.

Wow, now that I think about it, I think I'm going to enjoy it greatly.

-- matt (matt@nothing.on.ca), December 20, 2000.

Being in the states again for Christmas is quite odd.

I was doing study abroad last fall/winter in Israel, so there really wasn't any Christmas. I heard one instrumental Christmas song on the radio, and some of the stores run by Arab Christians had a few decorations. My boyfriend at the time was Dutch, so he celebrated St. Nick's Day, not Christmas. There were no presents exchanged - just a dinner party on Christmas evening, which was promptly declared "goyim appreciation day in the spirit of Christmas," due to the sheer surreal oddity of it.

Being back here in the states, in Indiana, Pennsylvania no less, is disorienting. It's not only Jimmy Stewart's hometown -- I'm sick of "It's a Wonderful Life" and the town pretending it's Bedford Falls; it's also the self-proclaimed Christmas tree capital of the world.

-- Bea (bethany@saintly.com), December 20, 2000.

i don't know if this is right or not. this is my first christmas home from college. i've been away for almost 5 or 6 months. it feels like the world kept turning without me. i haven't been this lonesome in forever.

-- sally batson (fata.morgana@shrapnel.org), December 20, 2000.

It doesn't feel like Christmas at all this year... maybe I'm just getting old. I don't like the idea of that, though. I want to have that feeling of Christmas invade my soul like it used to... Anyway... the best thing that has happened this season so far was all the snow we got - so much snow... I've never SEEN so much snow. God definately answered my little prayer for a white Christmas this year. The other best part was the present one of my best friends gave me - a photograph of us together. Definately touched the heart... it was all pretty in a nice frame and everything. I was showing it off all day. :-)

-- Kirsten (insightly@bombdiggity.com), December 21, 2000.

the past few weeks have been dragging so slowly. i'm a lot like you, suzen, in that i really haven't even been looking forward to christmas. i leave for portland (to visit mary for nine days) the day after christmas, so i'm concentrating much more on that obviously. i'm so excited but time is going so slowly for me.

-- david (dmurr@erols.com), December 21, 2000.

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