In the past few weeks, I’ve come across many Christmas trees, decorations, and holiday themes. It’s hard to tell if everyone is in the holiday spirit. With the recent tragedies as of late, this may not be the merriest time of the year for many. I keep everyone in my prayers and will have a moment of silence for the lives lost. If you’re a believer, like me, this is a holy time of year. This is usually a time when people reflect and get more in tuned with their spirituality. I know I have. Christmas is and has always been my favorite time of year. I especially love the lights, sounds of Christmas carols, attending church mass (haven’t done so for some time), and good smells of pine trees and hot apple cider all warms my spirit.
I must admit, I love going to Starbucks more during the holiday season. They always have the best holiday themed drinks. Their gingerbread latte is delicious! I also like going there to speak with the cashiers and baristas. They’re always so friendly. When I’m alone, I frequent there to take in the ambiance and reflect. I enjoy walking through the city and observe the way people rush in and out of stores, shopping bags from different retailers, and the occasional Santas ringing bells asking for donations. I like taking pictures of the public Christmas trees. Each one has its own style. I even like watching people; especially tourists taking pictures of the Christmas tree. In some way I feel we’re connected. I feel like a tourist when I roam through the city, because there’s always something new to see.
I like to bring good cheer during this time of year. Writing out Christmas cards, shopping for gifts, and imagining the smiles on people’s faces when they receive my surprise makes me happy. When I went Christmas shopping recently, I had the salespeople in awe. I pulled out my card and picked out what I wanted. I didn’t care about price or discount. I knew what I wanted to get. I had saved up money to be able to buy exactly what I wanted. Shopping for my family is very special, because of all they do for me throughout the year, especially my mom. Buying for her was a treat! The salesladies agreed when I said, “I’m splurging on her this year because last year I couldn’t. I’m happy to do this for her.” I would share what I got her but since she reads all my blog posts here, I don’t want to ruin the surprise! I even surprised my favorite news people with Christmas cheer. I’ve had the pleasure of meeting some of them, and even for those I haven’t met, I admire what they do. I wanted to let them know how much they mean to me as news professionals and for some as friends. I’m happy I put a smile on their faces.
I reflect a lot during Christmas holiday. I think about the pros and cons of the year, things I’m proud of and improvements that’s needed, friends I have and may lose, I think about everything. This 2012 was a good year overall. I can’t say it was a bad one. I had surgery and can walk because of it. I stepped out of my comfort zone and done things I never thought I could (i.e.: belly dancing, attended an MTA board meeting and spoke at their public hearing, rallied for adult literacy, volunteered in disaster relief etc.). I had some accomplishments too: becoming a member of Society of Professional Journalists, earned a TESOL certification, covered more stories for Examiner.com, was on PIX 11 news…again, became a NYC Civic Corps member, taught my own ESL class, and the biggest one yet, became a MSW grad student! This was a good year with some mishaps. I look forward to New Year 2013 and the surprises that are waiting for me.