Looking towards the New Year

Well Merry Christmas y’all.
This Christmas has felt very un-Christmasy to me for some reason. I think it has something to do with it being on a Tuesday. I don’t know. And I guess because we won’t be getting together with my mom’s family this year, and my dad’s family I don’t see until after Christmas, it really hasn’t felt quite like Christmas this year. It kind of crept up on me.

I know last night I was in a really yucky mood about Christmas. I still kind of feel that way, though greatly diminished. I think most of my dislike for Christmas this year, comes from the fact that as a Buddhist, I don’t really have much to celebrate. I mean, the fact that I’m “in the closet” as a Buddhist is the main reason. I can’t be open about my religion. Though I have to admit, we did very little “Christian” stuff this year. Like normally we have a devotional on Christmas eve (or on Christmas day, I can’t quite remember) and we didn’t do that this year.

I don’t know. I mean, Buddhists have Bodhi Day, which celebrates the Buddha’s enlightenment, on December 8th, but that’s so far away from Christmas, I hardly consider it a “replacement holiday”.

I actually found a pretty cool website on ways to make Christmas more Buddhist. I might steal some ideas from there when it’s time for me to decorate and celebrate Christmas on my own.

I didn’t get much in terms of quantity of gifts this year. I got some chocolate covered sunflower seeds, a package of kit kats, a bracelet, a mug with a matching plate to put it on with some hot chocolate, a target gift card, and of course my new iPhone. I’m not really complaining. I didn’t really ask for anything this year and my parents warned that Christmas would be small this year because of money. That’s okay. I was just glad my parents liked their presents.

I was mostly worried my mom wouldn’t really like her gift. I mean, she would like anything I got her because I got it for her, but she seemed genuinely happy with the candles and stuff I got her. And of course, my dad liked his coffee and gift card (he already knew he was getting a gift card though).

But yeah, that was Christmas. We ate pancakes. I took a nap. Then my sister and her husband came over for lunch. I ate a lot of butter peas and creamed corn while they ate lots of meat. I mean, I did eat some meat but it was a tiny piece and I covered it in au jus to cover up the flavor.

Then we had played a board game that my sister brought. I can’t remember the name of it but the board is a map of the United States and you have to build train track routes connecting different destinations. It was pretty fun but I found the rules to be frustrating. After that game, we did more presents and then my sister and her husband left. And that was Christmas. Super exciting.

I don’t know.
I’ve been thinking about the new year and what I want it to be like. I hesitate to call my goals new year’s resolutions because in my mind resolutions have a negative connotation of something that is always broken; but I really want 2013 to be a year of health and spiritual growth.

I really want to focus on growing spiritually in Buddhism and getting healthier by going to the gym. I’m really on the fence about smoking though. I know quitting would be the healthy thing to do and there’s the added factor that quitting would be the “Buddhist” thing to do, but the addict in me isn’t quite ready yet. I don’t know. I haven’t decided. My ex said he was planning on quitting, and if he quits I’ll most likely quit too (because he’s my only smoking buddy) but like I said, I don’t know. It is a strong addiction.

But like I said I really want to focus on Buddhism and health. Buddhism especially because I feel it will help me become a happier more balanced person.

I’d be lying if I said I didn’t want to be in a committed relationship in 2013, but I’m hoping that by focusing on myself and getting myself in order, the committed relationship will come to me. You know what they say about love finding you when you stop looking for it. So that’s the approach I want to take for 2013. Focus on myself and let love find me however it may.

This is only slightly off topic, but I’m really excited because today I found a book on Amazon I really want about Buddhism. It’s called Chanting from the Heart: Buddhist Ceremonies and Daily Practices and it’s written by Thich Nhat Hanh (a preferred writer of mine). Well, according to the description, it’s full of chants and recitations for meditations, daily rituals, and special occasions. I have been looking for a book like this for forever. Information on chanting and the ritual aspect of Buddhism is hard to find, but it’s the one area I’ve been wanting to learn more about. I can’t wait to add this book to my collection, though I should probably read all the other books I have first. Haha.

But yeah. That was Christmas. I’m excited for the new year. I think 2013 will be a really good year and I look forward to all the challenges and opportunities it will bring.

So Merry Christmas and Happy New Year everybody. :)


About emilleejoyce

I am a yoga alliance 200 hour certified yoga teacher whose hobbies include growing cacti and succulents, cooking vegan food, and bicycling. My day job is in academic publishing.

2 responses to “Looking towards the New Year

  1. Hiding your new faith will cause unnecessary pain. I say, spill the beans and be done with it and go on with a free-er heart.?????

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