One of my most highly anticipated moments of the day is when I get to check to the mail. Whether it was a letter from my Grandma (we were pen pals when I was little!), a letter from my Amish pen pal (yes, I had one…), random magazines, or college acceptances letters, I’ve always been excited about getting mail that had my name on it, especially if it not a bill or paystub. This makes the holiday season even more exciting, as making an annual Christmas card/letter is something I’ve done since I moved out of my parents’ house…it’s a fun way to say hello to family and friends and show them you care.
It’s turned into quite a project over the years as I decide which card to go with and then write my holiday letter, which I think I do fairly well with and is generally full of my dry humor. This year, I sent cards to people a block away (a few nurses live on my street…) and as far away as Sweden (to one of the other volunteers on my Africa trip…also a nurse!). (I would like to take this time to thank Snapfish, as my cards got lost in the mail and they sent me a brand new batch free of charge…high fives for customer service!) I’m not sure whether I do these more for me or more for the people I send them to, as it’s something I find fun and it’s exciting to think about my friends and family as I send them each a card. It’s also a great way to get in the holiday spirit, especially if you make a mess of your apartment while watching Elf. All in the name of spreading some cheer.
More fun than sending these cards is, of course, getting these cards. (It’s better to give than to receive, I know, I know…but getting holiday cards is really fun!) Of course it’s fun to see pictures of my cousins’ kids, but I love, love, love, getting cards from new friends…many of who (whom? I never learned that one…) I met this year, and practically all of them through something related to this blog. Whether it was the San Francisco Am-badass-ador crew or the Nuun HTC crew…my refrigerator is full of reminders as to how many amazing people I am lucky enough to call my friends this year.
Bonus points go to Caroline, my favorite Canadian-turned-Californian, who expressed specific holiday wishes for me. (Short back story: I was the only unmarried team member in Nuun Team Night Van 1, so part of the relay was spent looking for prospective men…)
Of course, there’s no place like home for the holidays, and I’m excited to jet set to Chicago tomorrow morning, hopefully landing just as the snow starts to fall. I’m excited to not be working Christmas this year and instead to be able to spend it with my family…after a few years of celebrating on the 23rd, 27th, or with part of the family missing due to deployments, I always look forward to a celebration at home with my family, doing our traditions that make Christmas seem like Christmas.
As much as I love Christmas at home, NYC isn’t a terrible place to be, so after work today, I headed out for a run to the Rockefeller tree to see it all lit up…I’ve seen it only in the daylight this year, and it’s certainly more magnificent when all the lights are one. I ran there last year after I worked on Christmas, and it was craaaaazy crowded. This year was no different, and I wish I had a dollar for everyone who said, “Wait…is that girl wearing shorts?” or “You’re going to catch a cold!” or “Aren’t you cold??!!” It’s 30 and I’m running, so no, I’m not cold. I’m just standing because it’s really hard to run through the crowds!
But so worth it. Super crowded on a Sunday night, but here’s my little Christmas run tour of NYC:
First, through Central Park en route to Broadway…yes, I run in Central Park at night (lower loop…), and yes, I think it’s safe.
Then I headed to Times Square…Central Park was almost empty and ten blocks later I could barely run.
Then I headed over to Rockefeller Center (barely could run at this point…) and came upon this beauty:
After admiring the view and getting more comments about being cold, I headed around for the final viewing…
It sure is a pretty tree and I’m lucky enough to be able to go on a short run and see it. Here’s to not taking things for granted! After viewing the tree, I ran back north up Park Ave. I turned around and saw that Grand Central was pretty awesome:
…but it’s not Christmas if there’s not snow, so I’m excited to head to Chicago where flurries are supposed to fall! There’s no place like home for the holidays. <3