So the holiday has come and gone and I feel like a post-Christmas-post is mandatory. I suppose that alone shows that on some level, the holiday has meaning to me. Last year’s post was admittedly non-festive, but left the hope of the holiday spirit in the hands of the children. This year, after a hard year, the holidays didn’t bring anything special except the reminder that things are getting better for 2016… and that the holidays are about family.
The man I work for had right around thirty guests in his home for the holidays this year – all of them extended family of some sort. As both his Executive and Personal Assistant I was naturally involved in a great deal of the holiday arrangements: A large tree, gifts for both family and clients, and decking out his mansion in massive amounts of light and ribbon. In execution it was fun. I met a ton of great people and observed a close family coming together for the holidays. The house was festive, the tree was beautiful, stockings were hung, junk food was abundant, and christmas music often played in the background (fortunately only when we had guests.) But the thing about being The Assistant in any case – holidays or otherwise – is that you are a part of everything but at the same time you’re always separated… always in the grey area.
It’s an enlightening self-study, to see what the effect of seeing an “ideal” and somewhat traditional family Christmas has on me. Further it reinforced to me that Christmas is indeed a matter of family in my mind, and without it the “holiday spirit” simply doesn’t hold up. I watched this group of people who were familiar in ways only a close family can be, and I realized that the concept is nearly alien to me. To be honest there are maybe a handful of people in the entire world that I trust on that level, and out of them probably only two are actually related to me. And yes, I know, family isn’t about blood relation. I’ve had many surrogate family members in my time thus far. Some have endured, many have not, but regardless my family is something that I still need to build… and I haven’t the slightest idea how or when (or with whom) that will happen.
The above sounds whiney… it’s not really meant to. If anything, it’s hopeful. I know it’s entirely possible for me to get into the spirit of Christmas, and I even know how. As usual it’s a matter of patience and making sure I have myself in a position to do it right. The majority of 2015 was an (arguably necessary) step backwards, but I learned a lot in the process about standing my ground and knowing what my priorities are. Even my current role is already teaching me a great deal about my motivations and where I want to be. Truthfully I’m not certain in the long-term it will get me there, but for now it’s the balance I’ve sought through many months of barely scraping by, and I’m grateful for that.
Also, my Christmas wasn’t bad. I wasn’t alone, it just wasn’t a huge production. The budget was (by necessity) very, very low and I gave little and received little (though to be honest what I received was way cooler than what I was able to give.) This is all very okay though, I like giving and I kind of suck at gracefully receiving (unless we’re talking in the bedroom… but this is Christmas post, get your head out of the gutter.) To be honest I was grateful that it was what it was and not something far worse. I have been fortunate that the final month of this year has set up for a vastly improved 2016. Had I not (finally) gotten some very good options and offers for work in the last couple of months, Christmas might very well have been a dark day for me.
But in the meantime, this year I was a first-hand witness to the sort of ideal Christmas I hope to someday have. But in order to have that I have a lot of building and developing to do, the least of which involves finding somebody to share that building with. I suppose it’s entirely possible that things won’t turn out the way I hope and a completely different set of circumstances will bring back the holiday spirit for me. At least at the moment I can say that although that specific spirit currently eludes me, my personal spirit does not. As of now I have the hope that can find it, build it, or make it… one way or another. But that’s the beginning of the spirit, of anything good really: hope.