Am I crazy about it? No, not particularly. It is very commercial, and being as I'm never quite sure about my religious beliefs, and as I'm truly uncomfortable with the sitting, standing, kneeling, "worshipping", and donating that goes on at the Church, it can be an odd time for me. When I have a girlfriend, I dread the family garbage that comes with major holidays; when I don't, I kind of wish I did, just because the holidays can be tough. There are high expectations that are rarely realized, and things can sometimes just be overly fake.
What I can say is this, however: for all my bitching and moaning about everything, I am a fucking blessed man. I have a good family, and for all their issues and addictions and tramas, I love them, and appreciate them. I have a massive circle of friends who create an aura of invincibility, and indominableness of spirit that has picked me up and dusted me off many times, and perhaps never so many as in the past year. It is neither youth nor naivete that allows me to say that these guys, the older brothers I never had, will never leave me in the cold. They are the source of all my strength, and without them, I would not be around right now.
And perhaps most importantly, I know that I am held dearly in the hearts of some women. Some have come and gone but remember me, some keep me in their minds as you read this.
These are things that are important to me. No one has died this year. I laid some old ghosts to rest... and the Goju-ryu is now my salvation, the thing that gives me the peace of mind that the Church never could.
The presents mean nothing... what means everything is being with the family for a dinner that runs far longer than everyone wants it too, and then going and picking up two of your closest friends so you can go meet others at the bar and celebrate this holiday with shots of Jameson and genuine smiles. Sometimes life is just absolutely worth living.