Things are getting festive…

The signs that the holiday season is in full force are all around. Streets are decked out with lights, displays in store windows, and holiday cheer hung on every lamppost and side of every bus. Christmas carols are playing in all the shops, there is mistletoe for sale at the farmers market, and all the festive sweaters are coming out.

I’ve got my christmas cards in the mail (late, sorry!), stockings hung, and starting to compile ingredients for christmas dinner. A friend from college is driving me to the airport to collect my gift on christmas morning. I’ve had festive music playing on iTunes for two weeks, and it’s starting to work, getting me in the holiday spirit.

I’m not doing many gifts this year, in part because I’m a student again, and watching my budget. Also in solidarity with the occupy movements happening all over, doing my part to keep my money local this year, supporting the farmers and artisans in my region, and contributing to community-spirit and love, rather than materialism and greed. I’m trying to come up with meaningful gestures, rather than expensive objects.

Seasons greetings to all of my readers wherever you are, whoever you’re with, and in whatever way you celebrate this year. Best wishes for a season full of love and laughter with the people who are most important to you, and all the best in 2012!

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Productivity

What is today, Wednesday? Somehow it doesn’t feel like it.

After a busy, fun-filled weekend, and filling my Sunday night with too much phone time, I’ve put myself too far behind on sleep already. After only two days of lectures this week, I still manage to feel like it should be Friday. It’s amazing what sleep-deprivation does to a person, especially an 8-hour-per-night person like me. But last night after another (long) phone call, my morale was given a kick-start back into productivity. I caught up on emails and little notes that have been cluttering my mind. Today I filled in my course reviews, checked on the status of my pillow delivery, and attended the Staff Student Liaison meeting. Now I’m able to sit down with my blog, (almost) guilt-free, bathroom smelling of clean laundry that’s hung to dry, agenda-notes email sent off to the class, dishes washed, contacts out.

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving, arguably the best American holiday of the year, and although most of my classmates don’t celebrate regularly, a few of us are having a dinner. I will be hosting 5 of my classmates for a “traditional” meal of roast duck, mashed potatoes and carrots, stuffing, yams, cranberry sauce, and Spanish pumpkin pie. We are a diverse group from different backgrounds and nationalities, but I am excited to celebrate, not only the day, but the people I will be sharing it with.

I’m thankful to be on this adventure to England. I’m thankful for the wonderful friends I’ve made, who will no doubt be friends for life. I’m thankful for my partner, who I won’t have to miss anymore in a few short weeks. I’m thankful for a program that challenges and excites me all at the same time. And I’m thankful that tonight I will go to sleep before 2am.