Share your appreciation

Dear Optimists,

Today I’m going to tell  you about someone that I appreciate very much. She’s always there for me, ready to listen. She’s been there for the past 9-10 years, but I don’t really feel that I show her enough appreciation. I’m going to change that.

Thursday was the day for my thesis hand-in at the University. Thursday was also the day the train staff chose to go on strike.

So I rang Malou:

She went to work to explain the situation and came to get me:

Then we went on the long drive to my University. At the University I got lost and ran down the halls, confused and stressed out. Malou pointed out a big sign which read, “thesis hand-in”.

She’s been listening to me complain for the past three weeks. Which is why she is frowning and looks tired.

But she’s there. She’s always there.

Thank you, Malou. Thank you for always saving my arse, for being ready with a comforting hug (and cake) and just because you are you.

Today, go tell someone how much you appreciate them. Isn’t that what the Holidays are for?

Love,
Nadia.

Bad or Good?

Dear Optimists,

With Christmas fast approaching, I thought I would focus on some of my favorite traditions.

As a kid, we would always go to my paternal grandparents’ house for Christmas dinner. One year, my grandfather informed me that santa left me an extra gift under their tree, but it was addressed to me! So here I am, all excited about getting an extra present over my sisters, and when I open it I find…

…potatoes.

Wah waaaaah. My grandfather would razz me, telling me I must have been bad. Apparently he thought santa gave bad kids potatoes! I always hear he gave them coal…maybe it’s an Italian thing?

The worst is that I couldn’t even keep the potatoes. He would take them back, telling me they were his lunch for the next day.

Love, Den

Guest Post! Family traditions

Dear Optimists,

Don’t you just love Christmas? When I was younger Christmas was about presents and family and food, but also about the actual Christian meaning of Christmas.  As my brother and I grew into the teens, it became a lot more about the presents than anything else. Then as we grew up and both moved out of our first home, we realised it was about so much more than that! We both, at the ages of 27 and 29 (he’s older), still wake up at 6AM with excitement of the day to come, but the first Christmas we did this and we weren’t together, we had a little cry on the phone to each other.

The years we had spent being excited about presents, we realised we got excited for reasons unbeknown to us back then. We loved waking up together and opening our stockings, then waiting for the all important 8AM wake up call for Mum and Dad. We would head downstairs to see if the carrot and milk we left for Santa and the reindeer had been eaten and drank. We would open our presents from Santa with such excitement, and then get dressed in our best clothes for trips to see the family and then back home to settle for a big Christmas dinner and crackers 🙂 And oh the joy of Christmas films on the TV. Arguing over who got the remote and which film we would watch first was the best!

My brother now lives in Edinburgh and I very rarely get to do this ritual with him anymore. We managed to both be in the same place last Christmas, and I woke up in the morning at 6AM and bounced into his room to give him a big sloppy hug and kiss, with happy tears in my eye, since we were both home and could be like kids again. Every year, our presents are still from Santa, and last year we played our games on the Wii, instead of playing with Legos like we did when we were younger. (Den’s note: Why did you stop playing with Legos? They’re the best! Can I have yours?) But we still argued over the television. Some things never change!

Its amazing how some families have traditions that will live for years, I know I will enforce the same values into my children, and I hope they do with theirs. So my fellow Optimists… I ask, what family traditions do you have at Christmas?

Love always,
Beth of the great blog Life Since Then