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Sam van Zweden

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merry christmas

Tradition

Some people are really into Christmas, and have important and elaborate traditions. My sister-in-law decorates her whole house, and takes her daughter around to all the Christmas lights on Christmas Eve. My Dad goes to carols at a friend’s house. People put up trees and lights, they play carols and go to community events.

Growing up and spending Christmas with new people (in-laws, parents’ new partners and families) means that I have to start my own traditions. I don’t put up a tree, or make pudding. But I do make delicious presents for people – the last few years I’ve made fudge, but this year I’ve gone with vodka cherries. Yes, they’re delicious. And giving people something I’ve made myself feels great – and it’s cheap.

The other tradition I have is to listen to carols – but punk covers of them. A friend I’ve had forever burned me a copy of A Santa Cause: It’s a Punk Rock Christmas. And every Christmas since I’ve been listening to it. So, here’s some for you.

Merry Christmas.

Merry Christmas to all…

Hello dear Reader…

It’s Christmas tomorrow… No doubt this evening everyone’s busy wrapping last-minute gifts, or getting table settings ready for tomorrow, or organizing whatever they can before the big day comes.

During all the chaos, I want to just take a quiet second with you, oh Reader. We don’t celebrate Thanksgiving in Australia, nor do I think we should. Busy times this year, however, have made me think about how lucky I am, and what I have to be thankful for.

Last week I went for dinner with my Dad and step-mum, as I won’t be seeing them for Christmas. They gave me a bottle of my favourite wine, and three Jane Austen novels from the Borders Hardback Classics collection… I’m thankful that they cared enough to really think about what to give me, and that they’re close enough and made time to sit down and dine with myself and my partner.

Danny, my boyfriend, got me Guitar Hero for Christmas. When I got home tonight, he got me a beer and came and sat and talked to me for a bit. When I came home last night, the dishes were done. I’m thankful for the little things that add up to what makes our relationship work, and for the time he spends really listening to what I say.

Today I gave up my day off at the last minute to work a very long sales assistant day, standing on my feet, asking “do you have Flybuys?” and telling everyone to have a fantastic Christmas… While it sounds like a pretty average day, I laughed a lot, almost too much for a workplace, and I worked really hard. I’ve only been at this place for about two weeks, but I’m so thankful for a job where all they ask of me is that I work hard. I’m thankful that I work with people who don’t stress about small things. I’m thankful to have finally found another job I don’t dread going to.

On my lunch break, I sat and had a coffee and read some of Inside Out (Robert Adamson’s autobiography – quite fantastic). I’m thankful to have enough money now to buy myself coffee if I feel like/need one, and I’m thankful that I have such a tight relationship with words.

Tomorrow we spend the day with Danny’s family. They accept me entirely, we eat fantastic food, our niece soaks up all the love she’s surrounded by before ultimately throwing a tantrum, and we just chill out. I’m thankful for such a great extended family, for being fortunate enough to afford the food we have, for the smiles our niece gives us, and for the ability to just kick back with good people.

This month more people read my blog than have in previous months. I’m thankful that you’re reading this, and that my blog is an important part of me getting to where I ultimately want to be.

There’s much more I’m thankful for, but I won’t keep you any longer.

Merry Christmas to you, be kind to yourself, family, and go easy on the rest of society at this busy time.

Sam.

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