This year I had the lovely experience of spending my first holiday away from home.
I never thought I would ever understood people who wanted Starbucks to be open on Christmas until it was December 25th, I wasn't at work yet still awake at 8 AM by default, alone, on a sunny, seemingly normal day and I just wanted a coffee! Is that so hard to ask for?
It was the whole idea of it, I think. I'll admit I was a little bitter because my employer dragged me all the way out to California and then didn't allow many any extra vacation days to help with transit to go home. Maybe that's part of sucking it up and being an adult. Which is fine. But then every single one of my coworkers was in the worst mood possible; no one was happy during the 'happiest time of the year.' It was a little strange and felt off. I wasn't enjoying answering
"What??? You're not going home??"
"Well...then what are you going to do...?"
"Oh, well that'll be nice..."
Spare me, please.
Thank the heavens above for letting me out of there early with the blessing of our general manager, 4 o'clock the day before Christmas Eve. I was elated to escape the judgment and sympathy and empathy and whatever else.
Maybe it was because they made me feel guilty for not feeling guilty? It's just a holiday. Don't they realize I want to see my family all 365 days, what makes this one any different to handle?
Regardless, the four day weekend arrived and I departed (quickly).
Which leads me to the important part: what DID I do on Christmas Day in Los Angeles where it was a balmy 60 degrees with clear skies.
I went to Laguna Beach with Isabelle, who also wasn't going home. You gotta band together with what you have.
And was it worth it! Yes!
This place was so beautiful. I was obsessed with Malibu and now I'm obsessed with Laguna Beach. It was small town, rich rolling hills, Hamptons-meets-Miami-meets-Santa Barbara. There wasn't a sign of poverty, I felt confident taking a huge breath of air, and it exuded quality from every aspect. The boardwalks, the beaches, the restaurants and shops that lined the coast...all of it.
Plus, how picturesque!
A picture is worth a thousand words.
Needless to say, my first holiday sans-family was weird. There's no other way to spin it. But, making the most out of it was not a problem at all. Would I do it again? Not sure. If I had to, I suppose. Would I choose to do it again? No. But was it a relaxing and inspiring day? Yes.
Merry Christmas from Isabelle and me!