Wednesday, December 21, 2011

My Ghosts of Christmas Future

It's not birthdays that make me feel like life is passing me by, it's Christmas

I know this isn't a Dickens Novel (that would be sweet), but indulge me for a minute in my Christmases Past.   The holiday experience has changed as I've gotten older.   I'm spending my first Christmas without my family.   I was thinking about how I've spent past holidays, and since I've got no races coming up (or really training to share...I'm running almost every day but the lack effort or speed would make Alberto Salazar cry), I figured  'tis the post old pictures of myself.

I have few early childhood memories of Christmas.  Mainly, I wondered why we couldn't have a real tree like normal families did.  I spent most of Christmas morning fighting with my brothers over the Whitman's Sampler.   Good lord those chocolate buttercream chocolates were delicious. 

I also distinctly remember the loss of my innocence (not that kind, ew..) in which my mom attempted to tell me there was no Santa Claus.  
As a true believer, I told her she was wrong, and that he was real.  

Of course, I was the true winner that Christmas.  Mom was forced to carry on the tradition by giving me a present from Santa to avoid breaking my believer heart. 

I was in high school.  My brothers left for college and when they came back for the holidays it was one big party for me.  I finally had someone to play fight with and sing along to guitar with again!  It was awesome, but Christmas as I knew it was in jeopardy.  They had their own lives at college and were talking about adult stuff like "jobs" and "interviews".  Borrinnggg. 

In the ultimate act of rebellion, I asked for cds with explicit lyrics for Christmas.  My mom refused.  Perhaps she was onto my secret plan to run away with this rock star....

Luckily, my dad ignored my affection for rock stars and instead pretended to be thrilled with being gifted nearly the same pack of socks and button-up we'd been giving him for the past 15 years.

My new found college freedom came crashing to an end each December.  The pure joy of sleeping 13 hours a day was cut short after a few days by requests to pick up my clothes and stop being a dang slob.

I met up with my high school friends to see how we'd changed and who had the most ridiculous college stories.  

I think the early and mid twenties are tough for most people.  Despite having a decent job, and a classy Christmas photo (see right), I had no freaking clue what I was doing and probably spent most years upset over something inconsequential.

My brothers got married, and I wasn't their number one girl anymore!  Worse yet, they had to do that "alternating Christmas" thing.

We spent some Christmas's visiting the hospital as well, as my father spent 80% of his last ones there.  Yes, it sucks to be sick on Christmas, but more so, it just sucks to be sick.

I remember his last Christmas, in 2009, he came downstairs unexpectedly to see me.  He told me he had a present for me, and slipped me $300 dollars.  "Don't Tell Mom", he said, and hobbled back upstairs.  Thinking back, I bet he had several grand stashed in that room for no particular reason.  Always prepared.

Things will never be the same again.  This Christmas, I won't be eating the Whitman's sampler as fast as I can or thinking that my Mom just doesn't understand.   We're not going to wake up and play all the new cds that we got and eat our weight in chocolate.

That's the thing about life, right?  It moves even if we're not ready for it to.  Of course, I'm sure there're awesome ghosts of Christmas future waiting for me too.  But as long as I'm going to be haunted, I'd prefer that my ghosts pick me up some candy for the journey....


  1. I kind of like that Christmas picture of you and he-who-must-no-longer-exist.

    If you're missing chaos and good times at Christmas, you are ALWAYS welcome to hang with me and my 4 insane little homies. They will happily race through a Whitman's sampler with you :)

    Merry Christmas, Bunnygirl :)

  2. Aye, this is my first Xmas w/ my baby bro married off and officially alternating holidays (and of course our family gets screwed this year and he goes to his wife's). I'm not ready for the change...

  3. This is my first Christmas away from home too. It's a little scary when it's time to start deciding what I want MY Christmas traditions to be....

  4. If it's any comfort, I know your Ghost of Xmas Future is much brighter than the one in the book.

    I loved reading your memories, bittersweet as they were. And since someone at work brought in a Whitman's Sampler today I'm going to go have some in your honor (quite the sacrifice given that marathon training hasn't done anything to get rid of my muffin top!).

    Run on! The best of Christmas is Yet-to-Come!

  5. Terzah! Maybe I'm just feeling a little emotional this week but your comment got me a little teary eyed. Thank you and Merry Christmas!!

  6. Love this, Marg. My first xmas away, too - I'm gonna go search all the stores for leftover halloween peeps so I can have a Christmas Ghost hot cocoa. I'll leave the Whitmans for you :)

  7. What a sweet and well-written post. Thinking of you this Christmas!

  8. yay for peeps in the form of ghosts! u crack me up, u are way too funny! can i ask for my present to be u reprising that bright pink top and just have shots of u superhero posing around the city??

  9. These pics are great! As far as Christmas... they're sometimes tough for me, too. This year was supposed to be filled with tons of family and traveling. Instead it has been at my Grandma's side supporting her as she heals from her major surgery. I remember as a kid when there was no worry in the world on Christmas. Every Dec 25th was awesome. Now that we're older, reality kicks in and sometimes it's great and sometimes it could be better. :)


    p.s. Thanks for putting up my blog! I appreciate the support!

  10. Great Post Bunny. I like your blog because you have a witty sense of humor, you run great races and you are not afraid to poke fun at yourself. Thank you for sharing your Christmas memories. I'm sorry you lost your father a few years ago. It makes me sad. I hope you are surrounded by good friends even though you are away from your family. Wishing you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year

  11. I really enjoyed this post.

    I hope Santa brings you a whitmans sampler thats never ending.

    Your ghosts of Christmas future will no doubt bring you happiness and speedy running.

    Merry Christmas lady!

  12. Girl, I think we would have been TIGHT nerd friends back in the days of your Whitman photo. Just thinking about how ridiculous my giant round red wire-framed glasses of that time period makes me chuckle.
    Merry Christmas to you. I am at work 7a to 7p (oops should get off the internet) today, wish I could be with my family too (up in Arlington)!

  13. Um, I also had some dorky elementary school photos.

    This post is so bittersweet (like life is, sometimes) - excellent writing.

  14. I may be a month behind, but I love this post. Love that Brandon Boyd was your act of rebellion, love that you insisted Santa Clause was real (dang parents, they should never tell their kids. Let them figure it out with time), love that this kind of captures the heaviness of the holidays. I love Christmas so much, but somehow it always makes me want to cry...cause it will never be what it was when I was a kid