One of the best presents I ever got was a letter from someone, just saying how much my trying to be there for them through a tough time had meant. I still have that letter; I keep it in my room in my journal, and I look at it when I get stressed and need to feel like I've done at least something right in my life. Like I was able to make a difference in at least one person's life.
Some background for this year. My roommate and I were starting to worry that we would end up homeless; due to major rent hike and Jerky Landlord, we submitted our 'intent to vacate' notice so we wouldn't have to pay an ungodly sum in January... and then had the place we were looking at fall through. We were prepared to each move back to our parents' house for a few weeks and continue looking. In one of our last-ditch attempts, we went and looked at a house.
It's a two-story house in a quiet neighborhood within walking distance of Northgate Mall (the first mall in the United States, historically). A fenced-in front yard with trees, a fenced-in backyard with a tree and a deck. Four bedrooms, two full baths, one half-bath, and a separate shower. A two-car garage, a nice living room with a fireplace, a dining room, a family room, a den, a laundry room... in all, pretty nice. The 70's shag carpeting it has is abysmal, and it could use a little bit of paint, and the garden is a wasteland... but nothing insurmountable.
Two days ago, we got a call in the evening that we got the house. Yesterday, we went and picked up the keys and showed the house to a friend. Beginning this weekend, I begin to move things there. My roommate (who has Wednesday and Thursdays off) went and moved some of her stuff today.
WHEW! The greatest gift this year... having a house, and not ending up homeless.
Happy holidays, everyone.