Over the last decade or so, holidays have become less and less of a…holiday, I guess. Shane and I haven’t truly celebrated any of the holidays that have popped up over the past few years. A lot of that has to do with work, or moving, some of it has to do with the overwhelming state of the world right now, and a lot has to do with being exhausted constantly. Sometimes we’ll talk about going out to dinner or cooking a nice meal and then just hang out on the couch instead. It just occurred to me that we haven’t had a Christmas tree since the cats were babies and wouldn’t stay out of the thing. That was 2020. Yikes.
This fall and winter, however, we’re celebrating all the holidays. And there’s a lot between now and 2023: Halloween, Shane’s birthday, our dating anniversary, Friendsgiving, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s. November is going to be busy.
When Shane and I first started dating, I made sure to celebrate every single holiday – even if it was something tiny. I made us Easter baskets, required him to make me a stocking to “open” on Christmas Day while I did the same for him, cooked mini Thanksgiving meals, and on and on. I want to go back to that, the deliberate creation of joy. Even if the creation is something simple. We’re really missing the break from normalcy that holidays and other celebrations can bring. A great example is that we’ve never once celebrated our wedding anniversary except for a spoken “Happy Anniversary”. Granted, our dating anniversary is the real anniversary since that’s when we started our life together, but dang, a dinner out or something wouldn’t go amiss.
And, I want to finish out 2022 in a different way than the past few years, because honestly, the last few years have been less than ideal. The last ~5 years have been fraught with deaths in the family, plague across the land, serious illness for both of us, three moves – 2 of which required a 4+ hour drive, a few personal brushes with Covid, a job loss, a job transfer, and just too much. However, 2022, while being a challenging and difficult year, has ultimately led me to a lot of growth, development, and if not happiness, then contentment. I remembered who I am and what I’m capable of. It feels like a year to celebrate.
I am definitely the driving force to celebrate things – Shane would be more than happy to hang out on the couch for every holiday for the rest of time. Though he has always been more than willing (with a little grumbling, for effect) to go along with my plans, so I’m making a lot (comparatively to the past few years) of them.
First up is Halloween, naturally. We don’t live in an apartment complex that does trick or treating that I know of – we’ve only lived here during the pandemic, so it may have changed this year. And we still don’t have friends in our new town, so no Halloween parties. Those two traditional celebrations out, I’m keeping it mostly to 31 Halloween movies, reading a Halloween book or two, decorating the apartment with my ridiculous pumpkin collection, and possibly creating a few Halloween-centric food items. Possibly. Nothing too over the top. I’m not going to be buying any decorations or making Shane join me in performing an incantation at midnight on Halloween. Though I won’t take either off the table for 2023.