After many sleepless nights and a lot of mental thrashing, I decided last week not to fly home for Christmas. The reasons behind this decision are known to those who really need to know them, and sharing it with Familia Rubi wasn’t as upsetting as I’d worried it would be. That chapter is closed. Christmas is happening here.

What I’m interested in now is seeing what I do with these holidays, since it’s up to me to decide exactly how I’m going to celebrate them, and how much. And I’ve been listening to my heart about what I really want. At first, the impulse was to ignore them entirely. After all, I’m still a little tender about breaking up with el niño Jesús last year. But later, I began to feel that what I wanted wasn’t nothing, it was just less. A lot less.

I’ve spent Christmas on my own before, when I lived in Madrid back in the day. I remember being pretty miserable about the whole thing at the time, because it wasn’t going to be what I expected. I also remember the kindness of friends who invited me to spend time with them and their families — in one case, at the absolute last possible minute on the 24th. And they even had a gift for me! I wore the heck out of that cologne, and always thought of them when I did. (Yes, Nelly, if you’re reading this, it’s you!)

Now that I’ve got a little wisdom under my belt (What? Where do you keep yours?), I know that when I make a choice, I live with the outcome of the choice. I’m learning through my work in NVC, that I’m the one who is responsible for knowing what I need, and for getting those needs met. This is incredibly powerful, and wonderfully freeing.

And so I’m choosing — there will be bright flowers at Casa Rubi, but no tree, and no Belén (though there may be a random caganer — the Catalan Nativity figure who is shown in the act of dropping his drawers — somewhere in the flat, just because I find them so bizarre and wonderful) — on the 24th, I’m having dinner with a friend who had planned to spend the holiday alone, and who generously invited me to come be alone together –and as for the rest, we’ll see. I’m going to make one choice at a time. I’m going to enjoy the choices I make.

I hope you enjoy your holidays — whichever they are, however you celebrate them — with peace and love.