#49: Holidays & Candlenights

love romantic bath candlelight

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My favorite fictional holiday of the year, the season of Candlenights, cherishes ambiguous worship and joy and cheer for everyone. It really is the most wonderful time of the year, as there’s nothing like giving and receiving gifts, watching people’s facial expressions and body language as they open your presents for them, and reveling in the holiday tunes. I enjoyed spending some time off from writing on this blog, while enjoying Michigan, Jimmy, and Christmas Eve and day festivities. So much went on this week, I even considered writing in my old, leather-bound journal. I was also given two journals: one from my older sister Madison, which was a nice tied leather journal, and another from my youngest sister, which was a Pokemon card-flanked journal featuring Charmeleon and Fioone. Both brought me great joy to see.

Similarly, on the topic of Candlenights, Alex and I listened to the TAZ Candlenights spectacular live show episode on the way home from Bradley airport on Sunday. It lived up to the quality imbued by its name, and it made us laugh all the way home. Nothing wrong with a little late night cheer to lighten the mood on an exhausting day full of travel and waiting and sitting around. (I have nothing against traveling, in fact I quite like it when I have something I can do while on the plane or train or whatever, but in this case, it was a long, long day and I really just wanted to go home.) It featured a parody of John Cena (Jeff Angel) and a bunch of Christmas movie remakes, like a small rendition of Home Alone, and it was entirely perfect. So much laughter and good cheer from this episode, it made the car ride home feel significantly shorter.

But most of all, it feels good to be back. I’m happy at home, resting for a few days between the holidays and playing with friends when I can. Opportunities abound in both categories.


#36: Gift Giving

christmas board decors

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Welcome to the twelve, or ten, days of Christmas, according to Alex and Anthony. We don’t discriminate based on the number of days you decide to start counting, and we don’t judge in case you start counting by threes instead of ones. Sometimes the gifts just need to be given!

The spirit of Christmas, after all, is to give, not receive. There’s magic in seeing someone’s face as they unwrap and untangle the gift they received from you, as you wait for them to finally lay eyes onto what you thought they would enjoy. There’s a little bit of tension, as to whether or not the receiver will truthfully like your gift, or perhaps they will just pretend to like it (it happens sometimes). But mostly, this is the positive, joyous season of giving.

For me, I have planned ten gifts for ten days of Christmas to give to Alex, and they are all fairly small except for a few larger ones, and then finally one special gift. Alex also planned ten gifts, and hers tend to have more utilitarian means to them, which is exciting for me. New MeUndies tee and a new pair of underwear? I could jump for joy at the sight of that (and I did). I love receiving new comfortable clothing and new books by Haruki Murakami. Nothing makes me happier.

A younger Anthony would have despised receiving clothing for Christmas, but nowadays, I get excited about it. I think partly one of the reasons I didn’t like it so much as a kid is that the people buying me clothes, often my aunts and uncles, didn’t know what type of clothes I wanted to wear. They would grab me Aeropostale and American Eagle tees, and I would wear them to school where people would look quizzically at the differences between my outer self (my personality, my hobbies, my habits) and the clothing I decided to wear (preppy, put-together, and douchey). There was a total mismatch in appearance versus personality, and I don’t doubt that it looked pretty funny.

The Great Christmas Tree


I had searched for years for the great Christmas tree,

Something that would represent our family;

A tree that would shine through the dusky night,

With its branches exuding the brightest light,

And the afternoon sun, jealous of the tree’s lustre,

Would seem to writhe in envy and go astir;

We would need a tree taller than the tallest giant,

It would stand in our home in brave defiance,

While staring off at the other houses nearby,

For it would be tall enough to touch the sky.

And the tree must also be greener than the forest,

So all the other trees would complain in a chorus

And shout insults as we pulled the tree away,

For we would need to ready it for Christmas day.

We would plant it on the ground at home,

And nestle it right near the Christmas gnome.

We would swathe it in colored lights galore,

Like nothing you would have ever seen before.

We would climb stairs and steps to reach the top,

As it appeared that the ascent would never stop,

But when we would see the tip of the green,

It would be the most fantastic thing you’d ever seen,

A beautiful spiral of reds and yellows and blues,

With variations and colors of different hues,

The tree was magnificent, but lacked one part;

It was the bright star that would be its heart.

Greed, lust, and jealousy were no longer there

As the forest from before had happiness in the air,

And the sun warmed itself to the great Christmas tree,

The one that would represent our family.


*Although its significance is outdated right now, I wrote this poem around the holiday season and I imagine it may bring a sort of nostalgic feeling to those who long for December again.