Hmm…it seems I keep lucking out with the holiday posts.
Erin’s already posted about holiday baking. Lelainia already wrote a good post on how to stay healthy during the holidays. Sadly, these are the two main topics on my mind this week, as we’re hosting Christmas lunch for the family, and I just came down with a vicious cold.
Being sick sucks, but I’m the kind of person that always seeks the silver lining. And the silver lining of being unwell, in my opinion, is it’s a rare opportunity to put ME first. As a woman, and perhaps as an Asian-American, too, I’m constantly trying to make others happy. I work hard, often at the expense of my own health and happiness. It has been especially challenging since my success from MasterChef (everything’s a double-edged sword, right?), but I’m proud to say I’ve become better at managing life over the past year. Now, I know when to say no, and I value time above all else. I realize now that I cannot operate at high energy levels for weeks on end; in between projects and travel, I reserve a little bit of down time at home in order to recharge. So when I get sick, I know it’s life telling me to slow down and put myself first. It gives me a valid excuse to pause life and feel guiltless when I nap in bed at 2 PM, watch “Seinfeld,” sip strawberry banana smoothies from Smoothie King (or my own smoothies, and drift in and out of a Nyquil haze. (Yes, this is my modus operandi when I’m sick with the cold/flu.)
It also helps to have a little humor. I try to make it an annual tradition to watch Elf every Christmas, in addition to Love Actually (perhaps my favorite holiday movie), and A Charlie Brown Christmas (for nostalgia’s sake). Every year, I also bake my much requested Christmas cookies with cranberry, pistachio, and white chocolate (sorry, the recipe’s a secret!) and gingerbread cookies. I eat and exchange gifts with family. We make edible gifts for our friends—one year, it was strawberry cranberry jam, another year it was pumpkin nut bread, last year it was black garlic, and I won’t give away this year’s present yet since we haven’t distributed them. When I was in my teens, I attended Midnight Mass. Now I’ll go to service on Christmas Eve. We usually trim the tree (but I ran out of time and energy this year).
What holiday traditions do you, your family, and friends observe?
Happy holidays from us here at NMO Diaries. May you and yours stay healthy, eat well, and be merry.