Sunday, December 12, 2004

Christmas and the Selfless Renaissance

Even when I was a kid, there was always something special about the month of December. Some people complain that everybody’s in such a hurry to spend money and add to the commercial catastrophe that Christmas has become, but that’s not the way I feel. The air is different this time of year, like breathing in the steam from a warm glass of hot chocolate. People spend serious quality time and money trying to come up with ideas and gifts that will make other people happy. Generally, most people are in a better disposition than every other month of the year. Why shouldn’t this be my favorite time of year?

Granted, I hate cold and snow, but Christmas somehow justifies those things and makes it okay for about three or four weeks. Maybe it’s because my mother was so into Christmas, and maybe it’s something I just picked up somewhere along the path of my life, but I absolutely adore Christmas. This year I find myself in the midst of a slight personal reinvention in which I really attempt to put other people in front of myself on a consistent basis (not that I never did before, I’d just like to do more of it). I’ve gone through an interesting string of experiences the last few months that led me to this renaissance. Some were amazingly wonderful and others were quite trying, but all of them really opened my eyes to the fact that I could be very good at helping other people. I could be even better at that than I am at helping myself! I’ve come to realize that nothing makes me happier than seeing the people I care about happy.

I know this all sounds very magoo, but I am going somewhere with all of this. This new ideal I’ve adopted, combined with the freedom of having my own place and the fact that I haven’t seen several of my friends in quite some time, inspired me to throw a small Christmas party. I went out and bought snacks, mistletoe, and “celebratory Christmas beverages,” then invited several of my closest friends over for the evening. Not only did I get to see a lot of people that I really love deeply, but I concocted a room full of people who had never been in the same place at the same time before. I created quite an interesting chemistry of patrons…

The Guest List went as follows, in order of appearance: Cole (unofficially the middle Brigham child, great guy—think Chandler from “Friends”), Megan (his date for the evening—she was a newbie but fit in wonderfully with everyone. I approve), Jesse (slightly more compassionate than Nick Burns Your Company’s Computer Guy, but always good for enlightening conversation), Li’l Bro (how could he NOT be there?), Amy (most intelligent, gorgeous, hilarious girl I’ve ever been affiliated with. To quote Dale: “Damn Joel. You comin’ up!”), Ian (buddy from back home luckily was in town for the weekend. Smokin’ guitar player and a helluva model American.), My Nugz Dale and Glenn, and Glenn’s girlfriend Shaf (Dale’s my guy. He’s loud, overly-confident, and loud. Who couldn’t like this guy? Glenn, a friend of mine via several BBQ’s at the Dale Coerper, Sr. Residence, was responsible for the quote of the evening. Scroll down for that!), Amber (Amy’s roommate who graciously took a break from her busy night of Saturday Night studying to hang out with some friends!), Kavita (Dale’s date for the evening, also something of a newbie. The room was just FULL of them!), and my sister Jackie (didn’t stay long, but did hang out for a while. She’s a Party Machine!).

So we all had a great time. I think Dale and I were the only two people who ended up irrationally inebriated (or maybe we were rational and just FELT as if we were relatively irrational). All in all though, I’d call the whole evening a success. Friends met friends, like three of us had new girls to show off, and there was a lot of great conversation, laughing, and reminiscing. I gave my friends a Christmas party for their big collective gift, and it turned out exactly the way I wanted it to.

I mean, the mistletoe could’ve gotten a little more use, but you get the picture ;)


Quote of the Day

Glenn: "Hey, can I put my leftovers in your fridge?"
Me, feigning Jim Crow fridge use: "I'm sorry Glenn. This is a whites-only refrigerator."
Glenn, mocking me: "Man, whatchu got in that thing anyway? Milk and baking soda?"

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