|Even the Empire State Building was feeling the holiday spirit, so why didn't I?|
My first Christmas in New York City. I can write about it romantically or I can write about it truthfully.
Romantically, my first Christmas in New York City was relaxing, some much-needed alone time to gather my thoughts and reflect on how far I've come this year.
In actuality, I spent Christmas weekend drinking hot chocolate, watching old episodes of "How I Met Your Mother" and having too many mimosas at Sunday brunch (which was more overpriced than normal and I met up with a fellow friend who did not go home for Christmas). And other than the phone call from my parents to wish me a Merry Christmas and a phone call from my oldest sister who was making a cake for her son's birthday party on Christmas day and wanted to know how to make whipped cream, I didn't speak to many people this past weekend. Not to say that I was lonely, but the quiet was palpable.
But one thing about the holiday season, you're not allowed to feel indifference. And there's not much place for pretending that all of the romanticism of mistletoe, snow, presents and "How are you spending Christmas? Are you going back to California to see your family?" does not affect you.
In fact, it was shaking me and asking me frantically why I wasn't feeling more cheerful, why I was spending the holidays alone and why I didn't have a Christmas tree. To answer those questions: I feel slight amusement, that's enough; my mom wanted me home for Tet and I can only afford to fly back to California once this year; and I have no room for a Diep-sized Christmas tree.
Because this year, I was not in the holiday mood. Maybe it's that transition from childhood to adulthood, or perhaps that's the byproduct of spending a season that everyone (religious and non-believers alive) was spending with their family alone. You can't help but feel out of the norm; in the land of twinkle lights and garlands, you are an alien.
So yes, my first Christmas in New York City was quiet. But when you consider that I live in New York City, quiet is pretty atypical and kind of great. And I'll celebrate with my family when I come home to California in January.