I’ve been looking forward to our Christmas edition of our Thursday dinner. In my mind, I saw our usual joyous group cooking a spontaneous christmasy meal while drinking homemade mulled wine. The dining table would be adorned with festive decoration. Every place would get a napkin I bought in Germany in a rush of anticipation two weeks ago, showing cute fat birds wearing Santa hats. Some candles and glittery snowflakes would be scattered in between.
Laughter, music, photos, chatter. I knew that not everyone would be able to come, but I expected us to be, I don’t know, at least five?
As so often, reality doesn’t quite live up to our expectations. Robin and I are alone till 10pm, working on our assignments and eating sad curry leftovers and slightly overcooked pasta. My hormones have been upside down lately, making me whiny about nothing, unnerving the people around me and myself. That’s why I’ve been really looking forward to having some distraction in the form of friendly faces and unburdened conversations tonight.
I’m not used to silence on Thursday evenings. Disappointment settles in my stomach. It tastes bitter.
But then I realise it’s not always about the loud fun that comes with a group. Yes, it’s very quiet and does feel a bit desolate. I sillily feel kinda abandoned by everyone. But I’m spending the evening with a person who stumbled into my life three months ago (or vice versa) – someone who has become a very good friend.
It’s a wonderful gift. I’d be stupid if I didn’t appreciate it and wished for more instead. People who are there during the quiet times are underrated.
My classmate Julia decides to come by around ten, even though she knows there isn’t anything going on. And what can I say, I love these simple times. When people just drop by for the sake of your company and you don’t do anything but, well, chill together. At the end we decide to watch a movie (Gone Girl, disturbing and recommendable!). Julia is motivated and dedicates herself to the exasperating task of decorating Christmas cookies, something Robin and I have already given up.
Christmas is not just about the glamorous glitter, fancy festivities and catchy songs. I’ve been getting it all wrong, looking for the big magical Christmas feeling while overlooking the big little things that really count. We should pay attention to the quiet moments and beloved people we take for granted and appreciate them for what they are – gifts that make our lives special.
That Thursday evening was different from what I’d hoped for, but no less lovely.