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December 8, 2013

Merry Kristamas.

I think in a past life I was an elf.

I love giving. I love Christmas carols, wearing red and green.

Christmas is my favorite time of year. I keep holiday lights up in my bedroom year round, and plug them in every night, to fall asleep under their glow.

I love all, and any, Christmas movies, and cartoons. Rudolf the Red Nosed Reindeer and Santa Claus is Coming to Town are my favorites. One year (for Halloween) I went as a Christmas tree (a sexy one at that). My middle name is Angelique and I was born during the month of December.

Yup, definitely. I was an elf in a past life. I often sign, “Merry Kristamas,” as my salutation on my cards at Christmas. But, I’m just an ordinary elf, scooping reindeer poo, loving my pointy-toed shoes, sleeping under holiday lights, believing in magical days and nights.

My mother named me, Krista Angelique, after Christmas Angel, because I was her last of seven, and the only one born in December. We always put up the tree on December ninth, so that I could wake up on my birthday, and retrieve my present from under the tree. I grew up thinking that everyone put their tree up on December ninth.

I’m well into my forties, and yet, I still have the Christmas spirit embedded in my bones, so much that, I think I carry it with me year round. I love to give presents and feel that the spirit of Christmas lives on every day if we cultivate it.

I love those “ugly,” Christmas sweaters, and truly don’t think they’re ugly at all, but rather filled with hope, maybe a cheesy hope, but anything with antlers, deer and a snowflake, makes me instantly happy. Maybe I am an elf of sorts. I love the smell of cinnamon, nutmeg, and I know the words not only to Rudolf the Red-Nosed Reindeer, but I also know the words to Claire’s song, “There’s Always Tomorrow,” and Silver Bells is enough to make me smile ear to ear, and crave a tall glass of eggnog.

The other day I went to the grocery store, dressed in Christmas pajamas, with Rudolf, Dennis and Claire on my bottoms, proudly showing my love of Christmas. I did put on Facebook that I was shopping in them, just in case anyone ran into me. I was out of Eggnog.

Though Christmas is my favorite time of year, I hate not knowing what’s in the presents. As a kid, I used to find my presents, unwrap the edges using a razor blade and re-tape them without my mom finding out. On Christmas morning, I acted surprised and pretended I hadn’t opened them.

Sometimes I’d act even more happy and surprised, to make my mom feel even more great for what she had given me, knowing how poor we were, I wanted her to always feel like she gave me the best Christmas ever.

One year (knowing my mom couldn’t afford much), she told me to write out my list, while also saying, “Santa is really busy this year, so he might not be able to get you everything you want, or much at all, but make a list anyway.” I knew she was Santa, and that she honored St. Nicolas day, too, when she’d fill our stockings on the night of December fifth, so we could wake on the morning on December sixth with a full stocking. She always filled it with candy, nail polish, mascara and other small practical things.

That year, I wrote my Christmas list and read it to my mom out loud, “I want anything and everything purple.” It was my favorite color and I knew she’d have a wide variety of things to choose from, if I only gave her the color purple to choose from, she could get me anything she could afford. As it turns out, It was the biggest Christmas, present wise, I can remember ever having.  And maybe the most fun for her to shop for, because everything was purple, and it didn’t matter what she gave me, as long as everything was purple.

I’ve always loved Christmas, maybe because I was born in December and Mom made me the Christmas baby, but also I think it’s because I love to give, and love the spirit of Christmas, not the commercialization of it, but rather the true meaning of it, it stays in my heart. It’s the time of year when we all come together as one, and also a time to remember those that need our attention, to share joy, greetings and offer one’s heart to, to everyone, just as Tiny Tim said.

Call it cheesy, call it commercialization, call it anything you want, but I carry in me the spirit of Christmas year long, and think that maybe I was an elf in a past life, or hold the spirit of what it means to be one, because it’s fun, it’s helpful, it’s kind, and it’s also, freaking beautiful. Merry Kristamas!

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Editor: Rachel Nussbaum

Photo: elephant library

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