Here I sit at 5:30 on a Christmas Eve having done nothing at all for the season, so I guess this is it. A traditional card for you. But man. . . I just don't feel it. I will actually have to play at it a bit today, though. My mother and I said we would not get one another presents this year, but I know she will get me some things like a pound of pistachios and something silly like a sweater from Costco, so I, too, will find some small favors for her. And then the awful thing--I'll have to wrap them. Tonight I will have a Christmas Eve meal with her and we will drink champagne and maybe watch some Christmas thing, but probably not if I can help it. Champagne on the lawn will be enough.
Tomorrow we will make a Christmas breakfast, and then tomorrow evening we will have the dreaded dinner with her neighbors. This is shaping up to be the worst Christmas of my life. . . and I've had some pretty bad ones. One year, loveless and alone, I went with my mother and her boyfriend for a Christmas meal a the Elks Club. You want to talk about bizarre? And there have been more than two Christmas Eves alone when relationships had ended just days before, one not long ago.
I guess we all want Christmas (and life) to be like one of those old Steve Martin family movies that were made to make you feel mostly like a loser, families with smart and pretty boys and girls and concerned parents who could solve problems even for their most adult children, all played out in expansive, expensive houses full of expensive decorations and tremendous parties with friends and neighbors.
My own was more like Cousin Eddie's family in "A Christmas Vacation" (link).
But by gosh, by jingle, by golly, by gee. . . I'm not complaining (?). I have it much better than most people in the world. Am I ready to reach my hand into the cosmic punch bowl and take my chances picking out a different one?
I don't think so.
And there have been little surprises here and there. I got an email from Red yesterday. I haven't seen her for more than five years. It seems she is doing better than well, much better than I am, I'd say. But it's not a competition and she was very sweet indeed.
And I HAVE given a Christmas present already. Yesterday, when the garbage truck came, I hurried to find my wallet so I could give the fellows the year end tip. Of course I couldn't find it quickly, so by the time I got out of the house, they were partway down the street. As I went running, my neighbor came out of his house doing the same thing! We caught the truck and gave the fellows some money. They are really sweet guys and its fun to see someone's eyes light up with the pleasure of an unexpected gift. But I was stunned, really, that my neighbor does the same thing. I didn't know. Hopefully the guys "clean up" this tine of year.
I think that's it. The sun is almost up and I see the cat's silhouette at the kitchen door. God knows, I might write more tonight when I get emotional, and certainly tomorrow. For now, though, I wish you all a perfect Christmas with hopes for a better year.