All I Want for Xmas...

Monday, December 26, 2011

As you may (or may not) know, I do not celebrate Christmas. Although I could celebrate it in a secular way, the holiday has never really held that much appeal for me. However, I do know that it is a day of great joy and festiveness for a lot of people, thus there's a general good vibe on that day that I like to take part in. I hence resort to other forms of celebrating life as we know it on that day - such as doing ridiculous things or otherwise soaking up the good energy.

This year, I made hummus and pita from scratch in our kitchen and ran out of chickpeas for the mixture just when my hands were good and covered in sticky dough. I was listening to Lupe Fiasco and - after pausing said brilliance - had to flee the apartment in a flour-covered hoodie and barrel down 6 blocks to buy another can of chickpeas and finish the ever-so-important hummus recipe. When the clock struck midnight, I was checking the dough in the refrigerator for the last time before morning and going to bed.

My Christmas present was my father waking me at 8am to say that he'd arrived at my apartment and we spent the morning again covering our hands in sticky dough and trying to figure out the best possible method of making our pita into something that resembled the Middle Eastern variety - because, being Bengali, any bread we try to fry instantly becomes a paratha.

In the end, we walked all over the city, particularly through the barren trees of Central Park and marveled at the quietness. In my apartment, on the streets, in the park... all was hushed. We ate ice cream in the cold. We spent time in whatever way we pleased.

It is in these moments that I feel that living in the moment really takes on meaning. Oftentimes we go about our day on autopilot, moving from one spot to the next with some sort of envisioned end result. But destination mentality distracts us from the small moments that make life a fun and exciting batch of choices. Every moment, we have the ability to look at our situation and recognize its sanctity. Though it may sound obscure when our mornings are filled with pressing meetings and our afternoons are bound by schedules and our nights are too short to catch even a wink of sleep, when the holidays roll around, it's all we think about. I have said it before in many different ways, but here again:

We must invest in ourselves the good energy that comes on holidays everyday. We must bring out joy in the small moments. And we must allow ourselves the capacity to feel all emotions, not just the easy ones, and move through them in our regular lives.

Enjoy your post-holiday relaxation, everyone!