And the holidays are here

Christmas in New YorkDisclosure: The links in this post contain affiliate links and I will receive a small commission if you make a purchase after clicking on my link.

I actually started drafting this post maybe two weeks ago, and then I got caught up with work and real life so all I came up with was the banner above. Tonight, many weeks after my last attempt to get back to regular blogging, I’ve promised myself I will hit send at the end of whatever I write here, and hopefully write more consistently.

It’s Saturday and I’m hoping to get two packages out by Monday to cross the oceans to friends I want to surprise. That thought makes me smile. Somehow the holidays have always been about giving to others more than to myself. There’s joy beyond description when I see the joy in the faces or the voices of those that get my card, my letter, my gift.

Isn’t that what the holidays are about?

Upon Angelo’s insistence, we got a new Christmas tree this year. As I’m basically an online shopper, I ended up getting this tree from Target. I chose it because it was unlit, above 6 feet tall (I ended up getting something that was 7 feet) and of course, on sale. So it arrives as promised, and while it was the size it was touted to be, I was kind of disappointed that it was similar to the tree we had which shed blades like there was no tomorrow. Don’t get me wrong, the tree was fine, but I was looking for a certain type and chose something else. As someone who doesn’t drive, I take pride in my online shopping savvy, and the convenience of free shipping to my home was something I could use, more so for an item the size of a Christmas tree. It was good — but I wouldn’t have minded except that it clogged my vacuum cleaner, so the only way to tidy up was to brush the carpet. I have a feeling this will be the first and last year of this Christmas tree. I will endeavor to find an artificial tree similar to the ones I used to know when I was a child.

Christmas trees are a big deal in my family. A good sized manger, too. But I have no room and I don’t have the manger here in New York, so I make do with a tree and lights around my window sill.

I bought a new set of Christmas balls in a teal or is it periwinkle color, mixed with matte and shimmery silver. You’ll have to forgive me for not posting a picture of my tree. It’s kind of camera shy. I used lights from last year and will be discarding the sets that don’t work anymore.

I decorated my windows and put up my parol or Christmas lantern, the newer one. I take pride in the fact that it identifies my home as Filipino because we’re really the only ones who have this kind of lantern which is sort of a cultural signature in the way we celebrate Christmas.

And I got Christmas cards.. haven’t sent them out and it’s (almost) Christmas. Hmmmm… Baby steps, I say.

To be continued…

Forgiveness

My 2011 Christmas Card
Work in Progress

I don’t know why the word just came to mind as I took a picture of my zentangled Christmas background so I could talk about it here, and as I am waiting for my e-mail to reach the server and help me transfer my photograph to my laptop, the word just popped up, and two people in particular.

First, though, here’s what’s become of my Christmas card — still a work in progress, but you can see that save for the inside portion of the Christmas tree were the front caption would be and a patch on the upper right hand, the background has been completed!  You can see 7 parols or lanterns in the background, and around it I filled the spaces between with different patterns.  I tried starting with the middle portion but that proved very wasteful as far as paper was concerned, so I’m putting it off for until I am done with the whole thing.

I think I might make my after-Thanksgiving-mailing target after all!

Back to the business of forgiveness.  I have always been honest about my inability to easily let go of a grudge.  If not a grudge, pain.  I consider myself pretty liberal and tolerant when it comes to accepting others for who and what they are, so when someone falls of my “good” list, it is almost next to impossible and definitely improbable to get back on.

That’s why I would think that the people who know me very well would know that to lose me is to lose me forever.  I know, that sounds so final.  But it should be when you consider how I forgiving I am.  So I am not a saint after all, because while I seem to have a bottomless supply of forgiveness, when one loses the right to be forgiven, it never comes.

To be someone’s sister she never had

I have someone who used to be a very dear friend who was practically like a sister to me.  The feeling was mutual — or so I thought.  I thought this was one forever friend.  In fact I would go out of my way to help her out and to listen and encourage her.  But one relationship she had and my opinion of it didn’t quite sit squarely with her personal opinions — and that meant the end of “you’re the sister I never had,” and all that love.  I had thought it would pass — that we would eventually find our way to each other again, until I got an invitation to her wedding two weeks before it was to happen on the other side of the coast.  So forget about the 14-day advance booking or saving for a gift or getting the right dress.  My heart shattered to pieces.  And what hurt the most was when I was told “only my family” knew about the preparations — so I thought a “sister (one) never had” was “family”.  I felt as though I had pictured our friendship to be something it was not.  Reality check.

She tried to renew ties several times, but when you tell someone you have hurt that you hope they will one day learn to accept what had happened, it feels like a slap in the face — and an affirmation that you were wrong about the kind of friendship you thought your shared.  I did learn and accept that I wasn’t that important a person to this “friend” after all.

I am not mad.. I wish her well.  But the past four years have seen us as strangers.  I think it is best to keep things that way.  I don’t know how I would react if we sat in front of each other.  I don’t want to cause her nor myself any more pain or disappointment.  We are just better off not being part of each other’s lives anymore.  Forgiven, yes.   But I am human, I am no saint as I said.  The chasm that has grown between us is no longer bridgeable.

On my end, I feel grateful that it happened when it happened, painful as it was.   Sometimes it takes forever to find a friend and nurture a friendship — and it may take as long or even longer to find out who one’s true friends are.   Better to have realized what I thought wasn’t there was really not there, rather than keep believing in something that wasn’t real.

I have no ill will or feelings — I am hoping the choices made were worth it and have brought this person happiness.  Just as I have found myself feeling truly blessed with what I have right now.

I just wish people would realize that forgiveness does not always result in reconciliation.   There are things just some things that once broken can no longer be put together and made whole again.