Happy Holidays from the World of Champagne!

Published on December 25, 2017 by   ·   No Comments

Janessa 01

Merry Christmas, Champagne Dreamers!  Or, at least it will be when this goes live.  Right now I’m probably out in the middle of the tundra trying to stay warm and hoping the wifi holds out!  I’m writing this a few days early because with the holiday and travel and all of that…well, we all know how this time of year gets.  Family time is great, but there is also a lot of preparation and and planning, not to mention execution, that goes into making these events happen, and it can be really easy to get caught up in the to do lists and the “should haves,” and not take time to really enjoy the moments of quiet.

So that’s why I’m sitting here at almost 2 am a few days before Christmas, thinking about the holidays and the last few years and all those things that seem to come up around this time of year.

I’m thinking of how tired I am of all the fighting.  That this year, once again, we had to hear a parade of stupidity about nefarious Starbucks cups and whether someone said “Merry Christmas” or “Happy Holidays” to us in the checkout line.  Did we forget that this is supposed to be a joyous time?  I’ve never understood why people get so bent out of shape, on either side of the issue.  If you hear “Happy Holidays” or “Merry Christmas,” and whatever you heard doesn’t perfectly align with whatever your chosen belief system is, can’t you look past the actual words and see that someone just wished you a blessing?  A perfect stranger, someone you don’t know, just said something that basically means they hope you have a great day, and get to spend time with people you love.  If you’re Christian and you hear “Happy Holidays,” is it really that hard to imagine that the holiday they might be referring to in your case is Christmas?  Does it really irk you that much that they dared to acknowledge that other people with other perspectives actually have holidays around this time of year too?  How petty are you?  And if you’re not Christian and someone says “Merry Christmas,” do you really need to launch into a tirade?  If you celebrate a specific holiday, can’t you do a little translating on your own and apply the blessing to your life?  Maybe they said that because that’s their holiday; maybe they’re so excited for Christmas and all of their personal traditions that they want to share the joy they feel you.  Is that such a terrible thing?  I’m certainly not Christian, but I celebrate Christmas with my family – it means lots of different things to different people, and though they aren’t a part of my path, I bet the same could be said of a lot of these other holidays.  There are many different ways to celebrate and observe.  And if you’re an atheist, just enjoy the well wishes and an extra day off.  Can’t we all just try to be a little bit less unpleasant to each other?

I’m thinking about how traditions and families change.  It’s going on two years since my grandfather passed away, and my mother and her brothers became the oldest generation in my family.  Our family and our traditions are changing, and not always for the better.  We’ve never been one of those families that was big on pageantry – no big speeches at the dinner table, no trips to church services or anything like that, but the last couple of years it’s like our general laziness about Christmas is turning into our new normal.  We had long ago given up on buying presents for everyone, and started to exchange names (which basically lead to people exchanging lists of products with UPCs, web addresses, or Amazon ID numbers that were promptly fulfilled); now, the adults don’t even really bother to do any gift exchanging except within our smaller family units.  We’re not that far apart, but we still let travel and work schedules interfere with gathering everyone together; now that my grandparents are both gone, I wouldn’t be surprised if my younger uncle and his family don’t stop coming for Christmas altogether.  Their kids are both down in Fargo, and it’s hard for them to get time off, and with little kids the 5 plus hours of traveling can be a logistical nightmare.  It’s all just a part of how life happens and things change.  It’s not anyone’s problem and it’s not anyone’s fault, but it makes me feel a bit nostalgic around this time.

I’m also thinking about the future.  The holidays always sort of remind me that my birthday is less than a month away and this one is a big one: 40.  I’m sure I’ll have a lot more to say about this as the day gets closer, but it’s still sort of surreal to me.  I remember feeling old at 25, but I also know that I wake up each day and I don’t feel that much different than I did in high school or college.  Some days I get confused about how old I am (I mean in a sort of existential way – don’t worry about getting me checked for early onset Alzheimer’s!).  These are the kinds of days that are supposed to be milestones and it seems like there should be some sort of appropriate gesture made to mark the occasion, but it public or in private?  I’ll probably have a dinner with friends like I try to do every year, but I don’t think a party with black roses is what I mean.  I mean that I feel the urge to commemorate the fact that I made it here, when there were many times over the years when I never believed that I would.

And before you think this little Christmas missive is going to be all gloom and doom, I also think of all of the things that I’m celebrating this holiday season.  It’s been a fantastic five years here at the World of Champagne, and I’m so thankful that I have so many wonderful, creative, talented, thoughtful, enthusiastic, engaging people around me in my personal and professional lives.  And some days it feels like I’m living several lives!  I always have new projects or endeavors to tackle, new discussions and conversations to have with people who challenge my thinking, and new opportunities for growth and change.  I’m so grateful for all of the wonderful people who have come into my life, whether you’ve been here for years, are new, or maybe even stopped in for a little while and have moved on – you’re all treasured by me.  And I’m sure I don’t say it enough, so I’ll say it here: Thank you.

Whatever you’re celebrating, I hope you’ll make the most of it and really milk every last moment out of this time of year and the people you’re sharing it with.  I know that Thanksgiving is so last month, but it’s also a perfect time to reflect on all of your blessings; I have been, and I’m overcome.  This life really is beautiful, sometimes. We just tend to get too caught up in the hustle – or in the semantics – to notice.

Happiest of Happies, and Merry Everything,


XOXO – Miss Jaye

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