Ahhh the holidays. I've been a bit mercurial with my relationship to the holidays for the past twelve years, since I first stepped foot into retail work. That was a game-changer, a perspective-shifter, an N'sync Christmas brain-exploder. My first job was at The Gap in Oakbrook, which is probably 'nuf said'. Then I moved across the country; and thinking I didn't care for the holidays (whatta costly hassle), I've only made it home once in my five chances thus far. Figure I come home enough the rest of the year and like my dad once lovingly said to me upon one of many visits, "How can we miss you if you don't stay gone?"
Call it aging, mellowing around the edges, good ol' nostalgia, or the slow forgetting of N'sync Christmas and the fitting room of doom. It's probably the same crap that has turned me into an amateur birder. But for the first time in many years, I'm feeling spirited this December. I feel immune to letting crowds frustrate me at the mall. I used to stress about the financial commitment of the season and bitch about the misplacement of values; but now it just excites me to have an excuse to find or make awesome gifts for my loved ones. That's nothing new, but I'm generally taking more time to reflect on ways that I can show people that I care about them. Especially when I can't be with them.
In 2013, I'll be launching a sort of kindness-spreading campaign. The premise is that we all could probably be more diligent with committing time to doing meaningful and thoughtful things for the people in our lives. The idea is simply to put more positivity into the world. There are opportunities as we go throughout each day, to extend a little extra of ourselves and surprise someone with a simple gesture. Finding those moments and creating those moments is the goal. I'll post more about that when the materials are ready to go.
Today though, on the eve of an eve, I wanted to say thanks to you folks, the members of this site, for being who you are, loving the variety of things that you do, sharing your passions with the rest of us, embracing our differing opinions often with humor and camaraderie, patiently awaiting my eventual new posts, and consistently enriching one another under the common love for White Sox baseball and run-on sentences. What we have here is inexplicably outstanding. I would have never imagined that an online community could become what this site has meant to me over the past five years of living away from Chicago. I can't wrap it and stick it under any tree, but South Side Sox is an incredible gift in my life. You're all a part of that, so thank you for the endless smiles, laughter and support.
Happy Holidays, loonies. Go Sox.