My job’s current holiday promotion makes me happy. It’s all about sharing stories. I love telling stories. I love hearing stories. I love the feeling of getting to know someone through both today and yesterday; Through words of who they used to be and are now. There’s just this beauty and magic in putting someone’s pieces together through their recollections. My current favorite Starbucks holiday poster reads “Everyone loves a holiday story or two.” This inspired me to share a couple of my holiday stories from both then and now.
I can’t remember the year, maybe it was 2003, but I must have been around 14. The roads were iced over and a snow day had been called for schools in the Austin area. My best friend Meg and I were ecstatic. We tried ice-skating but had no ice-skates so we opted for trash-can lids instead. We got our lids and slid down our driveways and our neighbors driveways. I vaguely remember being really cold and going inside Meg’s house to make hot chocolate and get other snacks. Besides the ice, this was a normal day for Meggie and me. Everyday after school, we would usually meet up on my porch or hers. We would talk about our days and spend the night giggling, fantasizing about meeting the cast of American Idol, practicing our acting skills, wondering out loud about our future, and asking silly what-would-you-do’s. What would you do was our game, and still to this day is. We’d have fits of laughter asking things like “What would you do if I licked this curb?” or “What would you do if I started crying about cheese?” It wouldn’t ever be funny to anyone but us, and I think that’s what made it so special. I think that pretty much sums us up. If I believed in soulmates, Meg would probably be mine. From the moment we met, there was this instant sense of understanding. Like we knew each other in a past life and were just picking up where we had left off. She has always understood me in a way that doesn’t need words but is just known, and I know it’s the same with how I just get her. One of the most devastating days of my youth was when she rang my doorbell, sobbing hysterically. Meg was not dramatic. For some reason, we actually hated acting dramatic and would constantly ask each other “Am I being too dramatic!?” Because of this,I knew something was terribly wrong. I asked her what was up and she choked out the words “I’m moving.” That was the closest thing to a heartbreak I had ever felt up to that time in my life, and each passing day sucked a little more knowing she’d be in Maryland in a couple of months. I’d like to tell younger self that it’d be okay and even a good thing. That we’d alternate states once we got older and that we’d still be just as close years down the road. That our friendship really was unbreakable and would become even stronger over time. That years down the road, we’d still be asking what would you do’s and rolling around on the floor laughing. That, no matter the miles apart, we’d still get through heart-breaks and rough times together, both over the phone and in spirit. Two days ago Meg turned 19 and I’m 21, and here we are pondering either California or New York for this summer. We’re all grown up, and we’re both at a place I know our 12 and 14 year olds selfs would be excited to see. Still, I regress and would love just for a few moments to go back to the simplicity of front porch moments and trash can lids.
Today my husband and I went to go pick out a Christmas tree. We decided to start a new tradition and go to a small-town Christmas tree farm about an hour from our place. Husband and I, being easily excited, both got pretty happy about our mini road-trip. We listened to Christmas tunes and started a contest on who could make the most unusual animals noises. I can’t tell you how fun and giggle-inducing it was making gorilla and rooster noises on the way to Elgin, Texas. Again, if I believed in soulmates, husband would definitely be in the running. Simply because I can start obnoxiously meowing and mooing in front of him and still later have sex with him. Once we got closer to our destination and we had stopped being animals, the butterflies in my stomach began. I love the spirit of Christmas and I love trying new things. I was getting both. My husband and I were going to chop down a tree together. As we got closer and started seeing cars pass with trees on top of their roof, it was like we were giddy kids again. We got there and it was wonderful and even more than we expected. We took a hay-ride down to the trees and started searching for our perfect one. We carefully examined and playfully debated. While meandering through the maze of trees, I completely forgot about all of my finals and stresses in life. It was easier to focus on the smell of pine,the sound of joyful little kids, the cold wind blowing my hair everywhere, and husband’s warm and safe arms around my shoulders. It was easier to realize, out in the middle of nowhere, that I am so blessed to be loved like this. To be making memories, and searching for a treasure, and hearing my husbands happy-go-lucky laugh as we live our lives together. We picked the perfect tree and took another hay ride back, proud owners of a beautiful pine and new Christmas memories. Before leaving we bought ornaments at the quaint little shop located on the farm, and on the way home we picked up hot cocoa. Looking over today, I realize it’ll be one of those Meg moments that I’ll long to relive. If for only a moment to feel again this young love, the smell and feel of Christmas, and the imitations of funny animal noises.