If I were to send a Christmas letter...
Christmas is traditionally the time when mailboxes fill up with Christmas cards from loved ones, old friends, and neighbors. Where I come from, some simply send a card with a handwritten “Merry Christmas”, or a photo card showing how their family has grown, but many send a letter giving highlights of their year. It may be from the friend you haven’t seen in 20 years, or the extended family member you maybe see once a year, but you can get the low-down on vacations taken, family sicknesses, and children’s accomplishments in this once-a-year letter tradition. I won’t be sending one of these letters this Christmas because 1) Mom still gives me a paragraph in her annual letter, 2) I don’t want to cause drama by sending one to so-and-so, and leaving out what’s-their-face, 3) Postage is expensive. If I were to send one though, it would probably look like this…
Merry Christmas! A year ago, I would have never imagined I would be where I am today. At the time, I had three jobs. I lived the first four months of 2015 in Eau Claire during the week where I worked full time as a Seasonal Tour Consultant at Holiday Vacations, and back home on the weekends working part time at the New Richmond 8 Theatre and Hair Company Salon and Day Spa in New Richmond. In February, I became a Supervisor at the movie theater, and in March I worked my last shift at the Hair Company. Big changes started in April, when I saw that Camp Luther, the camp I attended as a kid, the camp that had a huge impact on my faith, was looking for Summer Staff. I was hired as the Congregational Day Camp Program Coordinator, and less than a month later, I was unpacking for the summer at camp.
My summer consisted of leading a team of three other counselors to a different church each week and putting on a Vacation Bible School, or Day Camp for them. We planned and led games, challenge course, and arts and crafts each day. We also led singing and Christian Growth; we got to tell kids that Jesus knows them and loves them. It was incredible. There was joy, frustration, love, and learning. After summer, I continued working at Camp Luther as the Fall Program Assistant. Nearly every weekend in September and October, a group came to camp, such as Confirmands, women, or families, and I led them in activities, served them meals, and generally helped out however I could. In November and December I continued serving in whatever way I was needed. I do not know what the new year will bring career-wise, but I’m taking it one day at time, and working on being ok with that.
Christmas Eve 2014, I became a Godmother for the first time to Locke William, my cousin’s son. I was humbled and honored a second time to become a Godmother again in April to Myles Timothy, another cousin’s son. In September, my sister welcomed my first nephew into the world, Elam Zachary. I call them my “little men” and I could not love them more! When I’m lucky enough to see them, I smother them in kisses, and when miles separate us, I think of them and miss them daily.
If I see you at a Christmas party (or any place else, for that matter) this season, I would love to chat and catch up. I realize though, that if we only see each other a couple times a year, making small talk can be awkward, so I’ve created a list of conversation topics to help get the ball rolling (as well as topics it’d be best to avoid):
· How about them Packers?
· Ask me how my car is doing. If you really want an earful or have time to kill, ask me for “the whole story” with my car.
· I was in a friend’s wedding this summer. Ask me about it, or just ask about my bridesmaid’s dress (spoilers: I loved it!)
· Anything related to Camp or my summer is a gold-mine of conversation! Ask about my job specifics, the churches and towns I visited, the kids, how much ice cream I ate…
· Let’s talk about my godsons and nephew!
· What is my five year plan? I don’t know. What will I be doing a year from now? I don’t know. Where will I be two months from now? I don’t know. However you frame the question, the answer’s the same, so why bother.
· Save your breath and both of our time, any questions about my relationship status or guys will be met with the same boring reply: there is nothing to report.
· Let’s talk about you! Kids? Grandkids? Remodeling your house? Loving work, or not so much? Hobbies?
I hope your year was filled with joy, love, and learning, and that 2016 brings even more of each!
|Me and my little men, Elam, Locke, and Myles|
Why is she putting this on her travel blog, you ask. Because I’ve come to realize that traveling can be just as much an internal journey, as an external one. “Discovering His World” means leaving the comfort of my home and experiencing new towns, states, and countries, but it also means leaving my comfort zone, partaking in new experiences, and discovering my place in the world. I believe you are always learning new things about yourself, but this year jump started a new journey of self-discovery. One that, for whatever reason, I felt compelled to share with you.