The Day Rachel Stole Christmas (and Gave it to Victoria).

I’ve been in New York a little while now, and I’ll admit I’ve been struggling to settle in. One reason is that it’s really expensive! And, well, expensive. And then there’s the fact it’s expensive. Oh, and people whistle at you, and things smell, but mostly it’s expensive.

In case you don’t know the backstory for this move, you might think it went something like this:

-V rolls around in piles of money (as all writers CLEARLY DO <–heavy sarcasm) wondering how she should spend it
-Friend Rachel emails and asks if V wants to move to NYC
-V eyeballs her money, and says “Sure!” because she is a totally financially stable person now
-V gets on plane, and air-frolics to NYC, and has many adventures

What really happened was more like this:

-V gets back from trip to UK (which was budgeted in advance and took lots of planning)
-V survives release of The Near Witch
-Wanderlust kicks in
-Friend Rachel emails and asks if V wants to move to NYC
-V closes her eyes bc that's how she deals with grown-up decisions, and wanderlust-y live-life V takes over and says “SURE.”
-V gets on plane, and air-frolics to NYC, where she eats top ramen and budgets her daily cafe-writing money

Which is a totally fine way of living if you're crazy and/or ballsy and/or both and/or me. I just want us on the same page.

So I've been having an "adjustment period" and kind of dying in edits because I get snagged on every little detail and rather than moving on and coming back, I have minor nervous breakdowns, and that's cool, it's cool, it's all cool, we're cool…


My housemate, Rachel, who has been working very hard and not feeling particularly festive, took one look at me and determined (the rocking in the corner probably helped) that I wasn't feeling very festive either, and she decided we needed to have A DAY.

And oh, we did.

First we passed through the seven levels of the candy cane forest, through the sea of swirly twirly gum drops…(if you don’t know this reference, you fail at life. Go watch Elf RIGHT NOW).

We started out on 5th Ave, and looked at all the amazing shop windows. The Bergdorf Goodman windows were STUNNING. One of them was sculpted entirely of paper!!

After looking at windows, we stopped into FAO Schwarz, where we hugged giant dogs, Rachel pointed out the aggressively cute baby animal toys, and then, we witnessed the glory of professional BIG piano players. You guys, they played BACH. On the floor piano.

Then we walked to Bryant Park and went ice skating! With Christmas music playing.

After that we grabbed the most divine hot chocolate–it was basically a dark chocolate bar, melted down, and stirred with a tiny portion of milk.

We took our hot chocolate and walked to see the tree at Rockefeller, and then we walked the 30 or so blocks down to Union Square, to shop at the Holiday Market. And it was there I met a man who has been swimming with narwhals!!!

Or at least, he claimed he did.

But he had a ton of photos from his nomadic time in Alaska, and a fairly extensive knowledge of narwhal swimming etiquette :p We also met a man who makes sock puppets. So, win.

We finally made our way back to our neighborhood and wandered the streets looking at Christmas lights (we also saw a man peeing on a car, but there you go).

And then! We came home and watched the only movie guaranteed to make Christmas Christmas.

A Muppet Christmas Carol.

And that’s how Rachel stole Christmas, and gave it to me.

I wish I could steal the holidays for each of you, fill them with laughter and hot chocolate. But since I can’t, due to the sheer logistics, I will say this:

I hope your holiday is magical. I hope it’s filled with warmth, love, and yes, a little chocolate. Be happy, not ABOUT anything, but simply for the sake of happiness. Be kind to yourself, and to others. And maybe, if you can, give a little bit of holiday to someone.


18 thoughts on “The Day Rachel Stole Christmas (and Gave it to Victoria).

  1. TheDrunch says:

    Love! And glad you have a Rachel. I think there’s something about this time of year that can bring out the bluey blues if you’re not careful. But goodness, I think the professional Big Piano players could knock the blues out of anyone. What a workout that would be!

    • veschwab says:

      I am incredibly lucky to have a Rachel. And yes, this is a tricky time of year.

      And the BIG piano players were SERIOUSLY impressive!!!

  2. Pamela says:

    I need to find a Rachel. Glad you have her!!!

  3. Sara says:

    That is wonderful I think friends are important and can give you that extra magic you need to lift your spirits.

  4. It feels weird but you’re the fourth or fifth person I’ve seen had a hard time jumping into the festive season this year. Makes me feel less alone recovering from Finals week PSTD. Still trying to grasp that I’m not late for class when I wake up and get to bake cookies instead.

    • veschwab says:

      I wonder what it is about this year? Too many distractions. And how lovely that you get to wake up and make cookies!!! Jealous!

  5. Completely love that you are taking these wanderlust risks. Too many people spend their lives doing what’s expected and their older years wondering what if things were different.

    Also, Muppets make everything better. 😉

    • veschwab says:

      Haha I appear to be incapable of NOT taking wanderlust risks, to be honest. But yes, I firmly believe that life is for living 🙂

  6. Where was the hot chocolate from?

  7. That is entirely made of awesome. Good for you.

  8. ceciliajbh says:

    Wow…the piano players are awesome & obviously in great shape…Bach even…what talent! Also, very much enjoyed the paper sculptures and…well, all of it!

    Your article shouts ‘Christmas Spirit’. Your friend, Rachel, gets what Christmas is about…sharing…something we should be doing every day. I know you must realize what a jewel she is…even is she wasn’t feeling very festive that day either. However…she pulled herself up by the knickers & grabbed you along for the ride.

    Glad to have read this, Victoria. I learned that we all should be able to share a warm fuzzy not only with friends but everyone we meet…even those who swim with narwhals! I also learned that perhaps not all authors are rolling in dough (yep…a common misconception!) & that other people do that ‘rocking thing’, too…and I just thought it was me…hmmm…:>

    Thanks for sharing with us…made me feel like removing myself from my corner and having a grand day…and some chocolate…everything goes down easier with chocolate!


  9. You are right. The Muppet’s Christmas Carol is THE ONLY MOVIE WORTHY of Christmas.

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