Elsa Rhae

Professional Creative

Family Christmas in Colorado

Elsa Rhae2 Comments

Journal entry 12/25/18

Christmas Day feels less “Christmas-y” every year as I intentionally detach myself more and more from societal customs. It’s great. Though it plagued me in the beginning, probably high school, to have minimal family tradition, no extended family close by, and no real attachment to giving or receiving gifts. For most, Christmas day is like a painting that everyone tries to make look the same. I wanted that. My friends and peers had structure in their holiday routines with family members coming together because they appeared to want to.


I recall how painful it was to come home for Christmas during my college years, spending time with my prick brother and my mom who’d poke at my multitudes of insecurities until I poked back at her. I’d become so embarrassed that my dad had to eat Christmas dinner in front of the TV instead of as a group at the table and was continuously sad and defeated by my sister’s relentless unwillingness to taste new, healthy foods I’d brought and had began to enjoy. I had so much dislike for Christmas day that 2 years in a row, I skipped Christmas with my family and spent it with Barron’s.


Now, everything… EVERYTHING has changed.

All the current and adopted Pagelers came to Colorado for 5 days to spend time together before Christmas (perhaps that was part of the success, no Christmas Day expectations). First thing my brother did when he came into the Air Bnb kitchen was ask me for some of my dandelion coffee to aid his travel poops (or lack there of). My sister cooked each and every meal, both meat and vegetarian options for all to enjoy. My dad opened up, expressing his love for all of us children and my mom walked around with a smile on her face every minute of every day having us all together.


The last two years have been huge for my family and for each of us as individuals. Ayahuasca was my entrance into self love, sharing my findings with my dad after my second ceremony, expressing how critical it was for our family to begin loving one another. I left 6 months later to live in a trailer in the forest. Eric met Hannah, a hard working, fun and beautiful life-partner. He began a job he’s passionate about and she helped remove his stigma against substances like marijuana, aiding in his ability to be more open minded across the board. Rachel left her boyfriend of 5 years and began exploring the world. She left the comfort of everything she knew and chose to live a life of adventure and self fulfillment. Mom left her seated office job at the spa to work a very hands on, full time job at a Kombucha tap house. From her customers and her coworkers, she began to learn the benefits of eating organic, healthy foods and found CBD, which is now reversing her early onset macular degeneration. Dad’s high paying, ego-petting job fell through and he’s had the ability to spend the last 2 years working only for himself on his true life’s purpose and passion. He has had time. The truest beacon of success.


It’s not typical for me to cry when I leave my family. I am always excited to head out and on to the next adventure. This time though, as I looked out the window at the gorgeous expanse of mountains surrounding me, knowing my family was headed the opposite way toward the flat lands, tears streamed down my face (I acted like I was scratching my eye balls so Barron wouldn’t notice me wiping the tears away). I will remember this experience for life, knowing it was one of the biggest breakthroughs of love and acceptance within the group of people who mean the very most to me.