My first Christmas in the US since I was but a wee three months old! How exciting! But I never want to hear another Christmas jingle again in my life. Ever. Good lord.
As per family standards, we didn't do much in the way of decoration or, really, celebration. In lieu of a tree, this year we had a Christmas Samovar, topped by the traditional Imam of the Season. Truly, a wondrous and inspiring symbol of the sacrifices made for us by our Lord and Savior.
Other stuff. My 10-mile, daily bike commute, aside from being the most convenient way to commute to campus, has had the nice beneficial effect of my becoming much fitter and losing a fair amount of weight. Hooray! It has also had the effect of reducing my alcohol tolerance to mortal levels and vastly increasing my propensity to hangovers. Boo! Being a good and diligent scientist, though, I had to perform several experiments before accepting that conclusion. It seems as though my only course of action now is to perform extensive experiments to determine exactly what my new levels must be.
On a more serious note, it's been really amazing to realize as I grow up how much more solid my friendships have become. There were so many times when, as a kid, I would meet up with friends I hadn't seen in a while (sometimes only over summer break), and whatever it was that brought us together as friends just wasn't there anymore. It's been amazing (and gratifying!) to realize that none of my friendships are like that anymore. I've met up with friends that I haven't seen for a while, sometimes for years, and it's like we've barely been apart. Maybe it's just because I'm more solidified as a person now, and there's less of me that changes, or I've just gotten better about picking my friends as I grow up. Regardless, I love all you guys. You rock.
Also, holy crap! Moose!