The Christmas Card

I don’t send out a Christmas card. Few single people do, and if they do it’s usually played for laughs because the traditional seasonal card is heavily geared toward family. And if you’re single? Well you’re sans family, thrown into the wilderness of wild singles parties and poor decisions and hangovers, all to cope with the horror of being alone. Right? I’m sure that’s right. I think I’ve seen it in a Hallmark movie.

At any rate, I hate all the prep work of doing a holiday card, but I rather enjoy writing them. So here’s mine.

Dear Friends and Family,

I turned 30 this year. Maybe it’s my lingering OCD from childhood, but I was looking forward to being exactly three decades old. Every year ending with a “6” is one that I find personally exciting. It’s a fresh start every time. 30.

This is the year I effectively leave behind all the things I did wrong in my 20s and move forward with new motivation, more awareness, better life skills (I say this after stealing three slices of “Maui Zaui” pizza from the company fridge for the second day in a row). In my 30s I thought I finally get let in on the secret of being an adult that is so elusive when you’re in your 20s.

Bit disappointed to discover the day after my birthday that I’d gained no new magical insight over night. The rest of the year seemed to slide steadily downhill, too on a social, political, and, hell, everything level.

How is it possible I’ve not improved in the kitchen? Unless you count cocktail aptitude, in which case my tasting palate has even been utilized by a local bar. Is that regressing? I can’t tell.

I thought at 30 I’d finally start going to sleep at a reasonable time and waking up when adults do. I thought I’d be one of those people who wakes up at 6 and has time in the mornings for devotions and coordinating an outfit. Maybe making a balanced breakfast. Instead, I’m still horking down partially toasted bread/toast as I run out to my car with my coat unbuttoned.

Honestly, I thought I’d be like one of those 90s romantic comedy women. Just like a default setting, you know? It’s just the maturity that comes with turning 30.

Despite not accomplishing the 90s ideal of womanhood, nor accomplishing any other pipe dream goals for the year (saving money for a killer vacation, saving money, ending procrastination, losing weight, gaining muscle…), I’ve discovered something really important.

  • Fines at the library for late returns on DVDs are usually cheaper than what you’d pay to rent them from Amazon.
  • Barbra Streisand’s song “People Who Need People” (are the luckiest people in the world) is so true.
  • Life doesn’t imitate art, but that’s why art is so special.
  • Reading is magical.
  • Church people are just people. And that we all need Jesus more than those un-churched unfortunates.
  • I learned how to make my own amaretto and sour mix.

No, I don’t have anything earth shattering to share with you. This year went smoothly by like so many others before it (thank you, God). That being said, even if the year went by almost unnoticed, it happened all the same.

I’m different this year than I was last year. Just a smidge, just a touch. Maybe not enough to notice outwardly, no kids, no spouse, no house, no career shift….

Where was I going with this?

Oh right, to sum up: Christmas isn’t about relational success or life success or …success. It’s about those small moments that seem insignificant that prove to be earth shattering later. Small moments like a baby being born in a backwater town, born Savior of the world.

Anyway, I suppose I’m saying Christmas isn’t about me at all. And that’s kind of fantastic.

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