Christmas recap and my wish for you all in 2013

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I haven’t been in the office since last Tuesday, and as I put the finishing touches on this post at 5pm on New Year’s Eve, I write from my warm apartment, without any sense of obligation, without many cares in this world. It’s not often I am allowed an extensive break from my everyday 9-5 work environment, and I am making the most of this vacation.

This Christmas was not unlike any other, and yet, it held a different meaning to me this year altogether. The holidays are always a season of reflection, and so it was that I spent the hours, days, weeks, and months is a relative daze as I went through the series of obligatory motions. Shop for gifts. Wrap the gifts. Make cookies. Think of a holiday menu.

Christmas has always been my favorite holiday and I think that has to do with the fact that it has always been simple and sweet. Family has always come first. For as far back as I can remember, every Christmas Eve I would spend countless hours playing Scrabble with my dad, baking traditional German cookies with my mom, or watching MST3K with my brother. This year was the first when another person sat in on the intimate family gift giving, church, and dinner I have grown so accustomed to in my 33 years. I hope Bryan had a nice time with my relatively eccentric family.

I look at this picture and cannot believe that my mom is approaching 70. Crazy, right?

This was also the first Christmas where I ate breakfast in pajamas with Bryan’s family and opened gifts with his sisters and nieces. It was a perfect complement to a peaceful and reflective Christmas Eve.

The spirit of Christmas will never be lost on me, but I can say I am far more cognizant of living in the moment and giving thanks for all that I have and all that I am blessed with. At a time when so many have lost so much, it seems trite to focus on spending and buying more for people who already have it all. This year, Bryan and I went small with our gift giving and have decided to save our money for a trip in the new year. The one thing that has been missing from our relationship is a bit more adventure, and since travel has always been a big part of my life, I am lobbying for a cut in spending and an increase in time together. We attended our only Phish show the other night at the Garden. Ordinarily I would have booked tickets for all four nights, but there are other things I’d like to spend my money on. It is a small price to pay for a rewarding vacation in our near future.

I haven’t given much thought to New Year’s resolutions this year. Sure, I’d like to attend more yoga classes, write more, be more, work less, and spend more time enjoying life and all of its precious moments. But maybe I should just take the focus off of myself for awhile and put my words and actions to good use elsewhere. A trip to a local animal shelter yesterday solidified the fact that I have a warm home and the means to foster an animal in the new year, something I’ve been meaning to do for some time now. Maybe I should just concentrate on being the best Charlotte I can be to all creatures great and small.

Above all else, I wish you and yours a very HAPPY and HEALTHY New Year. Here’s to a better 2013. Let’s take the lessons we learned in 2012 and make this a beautiful year together. I love you all. XOXO

10 Comments… add one
Krysten December 31, 2012, 6:21 PM

Oh my goodness, how exciting! Isn’t it nice to have your significant other with you to share in all the intimate things that happen within a family? I know I loved having Izzy with me on Christmas Eve.

I hope you and Bryan have an amazing New Year’s Eve and I wish you the happiest of new years!

Rachel Cotterill January 1, 2013, 11:42 AM

Sounds like a lovely Christmas 🙂 If your travels bring you to the UK, make sure you call me! x

Gia January 2, 2013, 4:18 AM

Sounds like it’s been a beautiful holiday season for you! Happy New Year! May all your resolutions come to fruition but with your go-getter and active personality, how could they not. Also wanted to thank you for being such a sweet and true bloggie friend. I sincerely find myself always wishing the best for you in moments that I’m not even anywhere near your blog. 🙂

XOXO, my dear. Here’s to another year of writing ahead!

@bluenotebacker January 2, 2013, 12:42 PM

Glad to know you had a lovely holiday, Charlotte. Thanks for sharing!

I think anything you do this year that makes you feel good is a big step toward fulfilling personal goals, whether you’ve set them out on paper or even are consciously aware of those goals. Everything we do adds to who we are, enlarges our experiences and our lives.

Nike brand said it well: Just Do It!

Mrs. Match January 2, 2013, 8:05 PM

To a better year ahead! 2012 was so full of highs and incredible lows, and I’m so happy to put that year behind me.
A trip together will be so much fun! I’m glad you’re being so wise and saving. Match and I are savers, and it’s always so worth it in the end. I’m looking forward to hearing about your adventures in the New Year!

carissajaded January 3, 2013, 7:18 AM

Awww. This seriously brought tears to my eyes. The simplicity of the things that made you happy. I need to look at life more like that. I’m glad you had a wonderful holiday. May you have the best in 2013!

Girl with a New Life January 3, 2013, 11:46 AM

What a sweet pic.

And your Momma is adorable. Just like you.

Cheers to a New Year.

trininista January 3, 2013, 6:57 PM

I hope that 2013 vacation with your beloved will be magical!! Happy New Year honey!

Jessica January 6, 2013, 8:53 PM

I hope you have an amazing 2013 and I look forward to following your love story as it continues. So happy that you have each other.

Pretzel Thief January 22, 2013, 6:18 PM

Approaching 70?! Good God! She looks AMAAAAAZING!

Can’t wait to see where you and Bryan end up going, how exciting. :-)))

Also? Your Christmas Eve/morning sound absolutely delightful.

(And because I haven’t actually said it, Happy New Year!)

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