Long time no post! Quick recap on my life – I graduated from UCF (only in four years! whoot whoot!), I had an amazing summer internship in New York through a program called MAIP (Blog on that coming soon), and I landed an amazing job in Boston working for Arnold World Wide as an Associate Marketing Manager (Hurray!). So, now that I live in the cold New England area, I was blessed with the ability to come down Florida to celebrate the Holidays with family and friends. And so I thought it be appropriate for my new, rebranded blog to have its first post be about how Darce Does Christmas – Enjoy!
Ok, so before I am able to sit down, relax by the beach and drink a nice glass of homemade coquito, I need to get mentally, financially and physically prepared for Christmas. Holiday times can be a bit stressful (at this point stress is an old friend), but for most people, holidays can be a huge imposition on them. I remember reading that statistically, this is the time of year when the most breakups and stress occur, except 2016 through a curveball and 14 of my [Facebook] friends have gotten engaged (Love you all, but chill). So as I try to destress and get ready for the holidays I decide to buy some presents early, and to get back into a workout routine. I never understood what “winter bod” was until I started living up North, you see in Florida we are expected to be cut and gorgeous all year around, in case there is a spontaneous beach day; in New England, everyone gets layered up and accepts the inevitability that they may be forced to stay in all weekend and indulge on hot cocoa and Netflix. But, I’m not a Bostonian yet, I have to keep myself accountable, and start working out (after taking almost a 6-month break) again, especially since I plan on going to the beach when I get home (I refuse to be confused for a beached whale again). Now that I am getting into my fitness routine, I need to mentally prepare myself to lose it when I go down for two weeks and hit it back up when I am up (I need to be swole enough to carry the presents home). Getting back to the presents, I had to keep my eyes on a couple gifts that I needed to get my nieces/nephew, bros and sis, aunts and of course parents. Helpful hint when it comes to shopping, check out websites like Groupon or Etsy for some gift ideas. When it comes to tech gifts – wait for Cyber Monday, if not I suggest hitting the small biz stores for amazing finds. I wanted to give some good gifts this year since I was working my first “big boy” job and I wanted to show my love to my family (love language = giving gifts among all of the other languages). I crushed it with nieces/ nephews, took my sister and bro in law to universal, restored and upgraded a stolen gift for my little bro, got my dad an Apple TV, and got a Samsung watch for my older Bro, along with two flight vouchers for my aunt and mom to visit me in Boston. Not a bad Christmas at all! But I’m getting ahead of myself, the stressful pre-shop, or should I say pre-pack. After I bought my tickets to go back home, I realized I have no suitcase, just a backpack and a carry on, and I am flying Spirit Airlines (If you don’t know, Spirit is an amazing airline with bare prices and will charge you for additional amenities, like a carry-on, checked bag, drinks and other goodies.). Packing was no easy task, but I squished my backpack full of presents, and my carry-on full of clothes ( a trick I learned from my best friend). So now, it’s time to go to Sunny South Florida and enjoy an 80-degree winter! (Leaving Boston at 19 degrees).
Wheels land at 11:30 pm in Fort Lauderdale, where the aircraft was filled with at least 17 screaming children, two dogs and a cat – whose owner sat next to me (I’m allergic to cats). I let her know that I was allergic and the flight attendant took the nice woman to the back of the craft (leaving me with extra space). As soon as I got out of the plane, I immediately felt as if someone was breathing on my neck with the humid and muggy weather in Florida. I was home. My parents picked me up 30 min after landing (CPT) and took me home where I was able to enjoy a nice cozy bed and a hot meal. I went to my brother’s Ranch in Central Eastern Florida and had an amazing time chatting with family, talking to goats and petting gators. After that, I went to Orlando to meet up with some friends to grab a drink or five. That weekend was great to see old friends and new, and to enjoy Universal Studios Orlando with my sister (blog coming soon). But now, it’s time to head home and prepare for Christmas. I went to a bonfire with some old high school friends, and then hosted a pre-Christmas eve party with my brother’s friends, and then it was time for Christmas Eve. It never dawned on my that on my Mom’s side Christmas Eve was more of a thing than Christmas day (and Facebook and a client reminded me the truth of that, while a friends pointed out the irony that we are late to everything we celebrate Christmas early). So here is a list of Christmas traditions that Darce Does:
- Go to the Beach the weekend of Christmas (Classic, but mainly to rub it in the geographically less fortunate. This is where my evil comes out – you’re only mad because you’re jealous).
- Get asked by my mom to do at least 15 chores. (This year was light, but usually it’s nonstop requests to clean the day of the party, or else chanclas and threats of toy returns were made, the latter less prevalent)
- Celebrate the real reason for the season. (The birth of my homie – Jesus Christ, usually at a candlelight service at FPC)
- Eat (Between both sides of my family, the food is always great so I will be stuffed for a good majority of the Holiday)
- Drink Coquito. (Coconut Milk Rum drink, different from eggnog – usually my cousin makes it but we tried this year. Next year, we’ll leave it to the pro)
- Play dominoes (after playing a round or two of Exploding Kittens, we busted out the old dominoes and kept the cigars at bay)
- Dance! (We salsa, bachata, merengue, foxtrot, etc. and for those rhythmically inclined – they watch and enjoy).
- Open one gift at midnight. (We really just open the gifts a week before and say that it’s our “Christmas Tradition”)
- Watch the Grinch (Classic quotable Christmas movie, and the best one there is out there #fightme)
- Open presents (For the third time in a row – I am the Elf that passes out presents)
- Meet the other family for Christmas (This is where the coquito normally hits, but alas it was gone before Christmas, but we had amazing fudge like always and classic ham and rice and beans).
- Pass out! (Like I said, we are usually over-stuffed, and want to just pass out and oh yeah! You bet I did)
Christmas is a great time to spend with family and friends, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. However, we need to remember the real meaning of Christmas. A little boy was born over 2,000 years ago that changed the world. He was the perfect gift, that was available to all and given to those who ask. I made my holidays great, and I wish you and your family an amazing holiday season! Comment your family traditions and how you celebrate the holidays. But this is how Darce does Christmas!