I have come to love Christmas. It’s been hard, but right now I’m relaxed and enjoying the holidays. I have not checked my e-mail since Christmas Day, I have switched off my cell and it’s simply wonderful.
It’s so nice and warm here! For one who came from almost a foot of snow lying on the ground, it’s paradise. Of course, my grandparents keep complaining about “the cold winter”- hah, try being in northern Germany!
Running’s been great, I love running along the water line on the beach. Some days, I even go barefoot (though I’m starting to feel a little chilly if I do). I’ve also been losing at tennis to almost every male in the family- that long reach is getting to be annoying as hell!
Being away from the office has made me realize what an insane amount of time is spent talking about inane things each and every day I’m working. Right now, I can tell people to shut up if I’ve had enough. I can go up to my room and close the doors and be by myself, with nothing to intrude upon me, my coffee and First Lord’s Fury (though I’ve finished reading that and have moved on to my well-loved copies of The Once and Future King and Lord of the Rings). Heaven on Earth, I can tell you.
I’ve been given amazon credit by the small part of the family that isn’t yet buying into our habit of not giving presents. They were pretty annoyed at not getting anything back, but we’re not going to stop making our holidays the lazy family time they have become for the monetary greed of a few people. Honestly, once you’ve tried not needing to shop for Christmas presents, you will never want to again. No more crowded stores, no more hectically searching for the perfect pair of last-minute socks.
Of course, since one of my uncles came down from Georgia as a surprise to all of us, we still had to do the last-minute shopping thing, but only because he had his birthday on the 27th. FUN!
I’ve finally managed to catch up with both my brothers and my parents again. It’s been such a long time that we talked face-to-face, I’ve been surprised at how much I’ve missed trading barbs with the guys. Dad has been a regular participant, the whole family is debating-addicted and very well schooled in rhetoric. Funny thing is they’re all scientists of one kind or another- there’s no playing Scrabble in this family without some obscure bacteria presenting its name on the board.
I love being able to barbecue again. I haven’t yet been able to have a real bbq in Germany, looking forward to a non-rainy spring though so I can introduce my friends to the power of grilled stuff (won’t say meat as I don’t really eat that, so… well. You can bbq tofu just as well!).
Have been enjoying home-cooked meals more than usual, too. As wonderful as produce in Germany is (and it’s been hard adjusting to the difference in quality in vegetables especially again, nice fruit is not that hard to come by in Florida), there’s nothing quite as dinner cooked by Grandma.
Family time is soooo wonderful- I’ve even been able to make peace with the fact that my two female cousins (who might as well belong to a different species for all that I’m like them) pulled down my motorbike posters and replaced them with- horror of horrors!- Zac Efron. Help!
(OK, so maybe I haven’t made my peace with that. Sue me. They were my bike posters!!! And I’m a lawyer. HA!)