Lately, people have been using the word healing. It’s a word that, at first, seems perfect and soulful. Quickly, it can become a trite and meaningless. Now I can’t use it without a nudge and a wink. Anyway, but, I’m going to use it earnestly in this post.

While my relationship is not new to me, it is new to us in the way we are approaching it. Maybe it’s the new career. Maybe it’s because I’m not a perpetual student anymore. For whatever reason, the timing is right, and for the first time I am doing things like buying a Christmas tree and decorating for the holidays.


Keeping it classy with yule log/Christmas music on the laptop.

During that process, I’ve stumbled upon something quite healing. I grew up in a household wherein the traditions (holiday, birthday, etc.) were completely maintained by the women. While there was no question as to whether or not the men would participate, there was a sense that they were somewhat reticent about the whole deal.

A month ago, I went to the store with my boyfriend to buy Christmas decorations. He didn’t seem particularly interested, but was happy to be along for the ride. As we began to go through decorations, he actually had opinions about which ornaments to buy! He was excited. He wanted our tree to look classy. Of course, my own father had opinions about how the tree should look, but he would *never* go so far as to go shopping with us for decorations. I found myself getting choked up in the store. Of course, there is the significance of “our first tree,” but it also occurred to me that I had a partner who would care, who would help buy Christmas decorations. To be fair, I have been the primary decorator and maintainer of traditions so far, but he showed some promise in an area that I didn’t think mattered, but obviously it did.


Decorating the tree, with photographic evidence provided by my partner.


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