Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Christmas Thoughts

I'll just go ahead and say it: Christmas may not be my favorite holiday.

Go ahead and cue the "boooo" and call me call me a grinch. But before you pass any ultimate judgement, let me explain.

I dislike what the holiday of Christmas has become. Sure, it's fun picking out gifts for people. But when your family begins growing into ridiculous numbers (marriage tends to contribute to this), it can get stressful and incredibly expensive. You feel like a jerk if you don't get every single relative a gift. But you also feel like a jerk if you do and your gift is small because you have 50 people on your list so your "per-person" amount is a bit puny. So this beef is really with the commercialization of Christmas rather than the holiday itself. 

But these next thoughts on Christmas might redeem me if you're still convinced that I'm a heartless grinch.

I absolutely love the family time. My family is a strong contender in the contest of how spread across the country you can get. With family members in states on every coastline/border (yes that includes north, south, east and west) it's nice to be able to see at least part of them during the Christmas season. It can mean some intense schedule arranging and trying to allow time to breathe in between Christmases, but the memories are worth it. 

And one more very random thing I love about Christmas are the cards. And I don't mean the ones you buy in boxes with a creepy picture of Santa on them. I mean the family photo cards. This year I grossly underestimated how many I should print (sorry if you got missed!), but I vow to do better next year. In the spirit of the season, here is our card for this year, furbaby included. And don't even ask how long it took to get her to sit still for the self-timer.

Merry Christmas to you and yours! Hope your Christmas is full of family and laughter.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

A Ponytail Memoir

If you have known me for long, you probably know how insanely long and thick my hair was. Not to mention unruly. But I loved it. Long hair was a staple of my existence for the past decade and a half. When I did manage to find an hour to fix it, it was fabulous. Thick and shiny with lots of natural bounce. However, most days ended up being ponytail days.

I am not a morning person (surprise, surprise), so when I got a grown-up job, getting up an hour earlier than necessary to fix my hair just wasn't an option. For several months I contemplated chopping off my lovely locks, but could never quite bring myself to do it. I pinned lots of ideas that I loved, but when it came down to it, I was too chicken.

But like every small annoyance, you eventually reach a breaking point. Mine came on a Saturday morning when I threw my hair up in a ponytail, as usual. I looked in the mirror and just decided I was done. Done with everyday ponytails, done with an hour to fix my hair. I walked into the living room and briefly warned the hubs of my plans and then headed off to the salon.

I thought the woman was going to have a stroke when I told her to chop it all off. She told me that I had enough to donate to Locks of Love, and that only convinced me more that this was what I wanted to do. She put my hair in a ponytail, got the scissors and said: "Last chance. Are you sure?"

I took a deep breath and said "Cut it off."

It took several slices of the scissors to cut through the entire mane-like ponytail, but in a few seconds I opened my eyes as she held up what used to be my ponytail. Whoa.

After having long hair since second grade, it was surprisingly freeing to chop it off. It now takes me a glorious 15 minutes to fix my hair and I have yet to regret the death of the ponytail.