It's really hard to believe that the holidays are over. It seems like just yesterday that I was coming home. And in a few days, I'll be heading back to Greenville. I'm not entirely sure how I feel about that yet. It's going to be hard to give up the free time. My time at home has had its ups and downs but I've enjoyed being here. It's nice to always have someone to talk to.
Christmas went surprisingly well. The day before Christmas Eve, we had my mom's side of the family over for our traditional dinner and exchanging of gifts. This is always an adventure. One year, a piece of tissue paper caught on fire and THAT was a sight to see. Nothing like that happened this year but I still ended up having a really good time. After everyone left though, I started feeling a bit down. Something was just missing from the gathering. It didn't take much thought to realize what that was. I had a good cry with my mom and felt a little better.
On Christmas Eve, I met up in Randleman with a few of my high school friends - Amy, Cole, Emily, Ashley, and, Ashley's fiance, Jordan. This was the first time we had all been together in a very long time. At first, it was slightly awkward, as though we weren't quite sure what to say to each other. After a few minutes though, it was if nothing had really changed. We were laughing and talking as we always had. One of the main topics of conversation was where our old classmates are now. It was shocking how many of them are married and/or have kids...some people I would have NEVER imagined. That just made me feel old. We ended up staying for about 3 hours and I was actually kind of sad to leave.
I was in a bit of a bad mood later on Christmas Eve. I didn't mean to be. It was just that, for one, the Christmas spirit had still not taken hold of me, and, secondly, I was just really missing Ben. Nothing like the holidays to make you miss the people who aren't around anymore. We didn't usually spend Christmas Eve together but he was still very much in my thoughts. I became more cheerful, though, as the night went on. My mood change just happened to coincide with opening presents :). My parents framed my Meredith diploma and that was definitely one of the best gifts I could have received. I nearly started crying.
Christmas Day was mainly uneventful as we don't normally do very much. Again, I was thinking quite a bit of Ben. For the past three years, I've had dinner with him and his family on Christmas Day. It was strange to just hang out around the house instead of getting ready to go out. I kept wondering what he was doing, if his Christmas was going well... These thoughts didn't bring me down too much though. I wanted to enjoy what was left of the holiday.
My dad's family came over for dinner and gifts the following weekend. Ashley was also able to come, which I was really excited about. She'd never been to my house before and I was glad she'd be there to fill a bit of the void I'd felt at my last family get-together. I was sad to see everyone go that night. It meant that Christmas was officially over and that has been a depressing realization to me since I was little.
The Sunday after Christmas, Amy and I went to see Mercy Mercedes in Greensboro. If you haven't heard of them, Mercy Mercedes is a local band who are beginning to make it quite big (they're on iTunes, for goodness sakes). My ex-boyfriend, Tom, is the bassist and several of the guys went to Randleman High. It felt a little strange, at first, to be hanging out with Amy one on one. Not strange in a bad way, just...unpracticed. It had been a long time since just she and I went out. We had a nice dinner at the Olive Garden, a couple drinks downtown, and then made our way to Greene Street for the show. The band did really well and you could tell the crowd loved them. It was a bit surreal to see Tom up there with all these girls screaming. He's something of a rock star now, I suppose. After the show, Amy mentioned talking to Tom and I began to freak out a little. It had been quite a while since I'd seen him and I just didn't want to stand there awkwardly. It turned out to be less awkward then I'd expected though. His girlfriend was there. She was cute and seemed nice enough but...it's just never fun to see your ex with his new girlfriend. Never fun. It was a good night though, overall.
New Years Eve was another day I had not been looking forward to. Last year, it was a really fun evening. This year, I had absolutely nothing planned. I knew all my friends would want to be with their significant others so I didn't even bother to ask if they could hang out with me. It didn't turn out so badly though. I watched the ball drop on 2009 with my parents and then we played a game together. No, it wasn't a party and I didn't get a New Years kiss but...it could have been worse. I could have been completely alone.
I'd planned on doing a short reflection on 2008 but, as I've already written quite a bit here, I think I'll save that for later.