Second, December 1st marks World AIDS Day. For the first nine years of my life, I was lucky to have a godfather, Chuck; we always called him our "fairy godfather". He'd send me and Ginny stickers in the mail just for the hell of it and would always call to ask about 'his girls.' I really, really loved him (and still do). He died of AIDS in 1993, and my sister and I talk about it now, how when you're a kid and you think you'll live forever, you can't empathize with your parent when she loses her best friend, which is what happened to my mom. It must have been awful for her.
In the early 90's, a lot of people were dying from this disease, and since huge advances in antiretroviral medication treating HIV have lowered death rates in our country significantly, it doesn't get talked about as much. To me, this day is always a good reminder that there are people throughout the world, men, women, children and babies, who do not have access to proper medical care, and die from it all the time. ALL THE TIME.
Finally, it has been an anxiety riddled week, which has bummed me out slightly because to me, this really is the most wonderful time of the year. December 1st (which is today, if you haven't had a chance to look at a calendar) is typically the day Kyle and I get our Christmas tree. I bake cookies, we listen to Sufjan Stevens' Songs for Christmas and decorate like chipper little elves (I may be the only one who resembles a chipper elf during this process, not gonna lie).
However, we're still only done unpacking half our stuff, and until we clear it out, we have to wait to get our magical tree. And start merrymaking festivities, of course.
So at this point I feel I should mention Kyle's mom, Cyndi. I have to say, I really hit the jackpot when it comes to mother-in-laws. She's a very thoughtful person and could tell how stressed I was, as well as bummed to not be enjoying the holidays in my usual style.
Lo and behold, she turned my frown upside down with a little gift yesterday:
|Santa Gift Tags from Rifle Paper Co.|
|Red and white baker's twine (you can get it here).|
Cyndi surprised me with these goodies because (1) she knows how much I love Rifle Paper Co., (2) she also knows how much I love wrapping my Christmas gifts with kraft paper and beautiful twine and (3) she knew I needed cheering up and went out of her way to do so.
And truthfully, it kind of reminded me that at the core of the holiday season, it's not about decorating or music or elves or gifts...
It's about celebrating with the ones you love.