‘Tis the season! Whether you’re decorating a Christmas tree, lighting candles for Kwanzaa, getting cozy for Winter Solstice, or sharing latkes with family, holiday cheer is all around us. The hot cocoa is flowing, “All I Want For Christmas” is playing, and the entire city is twinkling with lights.
This city is usually about the 24/7 grind, but the holidays are a time when we can really slow down, focus on the joy in our lives, and take in all the magical moments NYC has to offer. Take the time to write a card to those who mean the most, stop and smell the pine from the Christmas tree vendors, and swap out your polished black winter coat for an ugly sweater.
Happy Holidays from our family to yours.
Your 20s to be team
“I didn’t go home for Christmas last year. Usually, my family and I do Christmas carols and make monkey bread together on Christmas morning. We sit around the fireplace, tell stories, watch movies, and talk about our lives. We always listen to Nat King Cole. Last year, I went to Fairway and bought the ingredients for our monkey bread, but it wasn’t the same. My parents try to keep me in the loop by sending me photos, but it reminds me that I’m the only one living away from home.”
Maggie, 24, on spending the holidays away from home.
“When my extended family found out I was gay, my parents said ‘I don’t know if you should come home. We don’t really want to see you.’ That was a big panic moment in my life. I didn’t expect that to happen. I didn’t have a financial plan or anywhere to stay. You’re never ready to hear that your family doesn’t love you, and a big part of coming out is acknowledging that you might exit the conversation without a family. Luckily, I have a great support system here, a network of queer friends, who helped me figure out my first steps.”
Li Lu, 24, on navigating family with a gay agenda.
“This year, my husband will be spending Christmas with my family in Texas. Unlike the stereotypical south, I grew up in an Asian community with a traditional family more closed off to change and new people. Max is a born and bred New Yorker, whose family is modern and has always made me and others feel welcome in their home. When I think about starting our own family, I’d like to combine the community of where I grew up with the openness Max and his family has shown me. I hope this Christmas, he’ll fall in love with my community too.”
Bonny, 29, on finding the true meaning of family this Christmas.
- How has your job been this past year? We’ve found some helpful questions to consider. It’s never too late to set yourself up with SMART career goals as you enter the new year (and it’s ok if you’re still figuring it out).
- Holidays can be tiring with all the traveling, visiting family, and meeting end-of-year deadlines. It’s a race to the finish line! Prioritize sleep with the app Calm to alleviate stress and stop yourself from becoming the grinch.
- You can save money even if you’re low on cash. Tina found an awesome tip from Reddit’s Poverty Finance — every morning, open your bank app and round your balance to the nearest $10 (or $5, or $1) to transfer into savings. You probably won’t miss the cash, plus you’ll get a psychological boost every day.
Look through your 2018 calendar and write down all the things you enjoyed doing. This journaling exercise really helped Hediya find gratitude in the little moments that helped her get through the bumpy year. We’ve got some other exercises you can enjoy too.
For this round, we asked ourselves: “Looking back, what’s your favorite moment of 2018?”
Our favorite, and most relatable response, was from Jojo, who said,
I was lucky enough to visit Santorini with my two best friends and watched the most beautiful sunset over the white buildings of Oia. For a couple of minutes, everything around me turned a golden orange color, and it reminded me how beautiful life could be.
Got a burning question to ask? Need some advice? Ask, and we will answer!
Hit us up for questions, comments, or whatever strikes your fancy at email@example.com.