Yeah. I’m blogging on Christmas day.
This year is unique. For the first time that I can remember, I am alone, my dad is alone, and my uncle is alone. We all live within miles of each other. My Uncle isn’t married, but he has a few friends that he spends time with during the Holidays. My dad is married, but for some strange reason Kate decided to go to Tahoe to ski instead of celebrate christmas, and I’m sitting here in my dark house writing.
Not what I pictured.
When I was a boy, Christmas was an amazing time. I was an only child, and I certainly was spoiled by my parents. Inevitably, every year they would tell me that I’m not getting anything big, and then something massive would come my way. I don’t know if you can call that under-promising and over-delivering, but it was great, nonetheless.
Hungry Hungry Hippos, Capsela, Snap-together models, Testor chemicals, Hot Wheels Factory, Atari 2600, money, socks, batteries, books, cards, a computer! Basically, every Christmas was indulgent and satisfying. I had no competition, and I loved the entire day. I didn’t have a staircase in my house, so there was no sneaking to the top of the staircase, most of the fireplaces that we had in Phoenix didn’t have a mantle, and were just stucco be-hive style, so the stockings, although hung, didn’t look “hollywoodized,” and it certainly didn’t snow. Santa was believable for years, even though he’s typically over-dressed for this climate. But I knew who the real Santas were the first time I saw a gift with “From: Santa” written on it before Santa had made his rounds! Sneaky!
After the initial morning madness with me and my parents…ehem…Santas, my grandparents on my father’s side (Baca Baca and Grandaddy) along with uncle Steevo would show up. By this time, in my mind, as a young boy, hours had already passed and I had already traveled the universe in my lego space-ship and invariably disassembled something and learned the schematics, then reassembled it and continued on. In reality, it was only an hour or so. Breakfast, this strange “adult” cake that they called “coffee cake” (I never understood that,) and additional gift opening would commence.
When the adults were done marveling at my ability to out-play everyone on Perfection, and had consumed enough of whatever they were consuming (must have been orange juice and 7Up, just like me, right?) they would giddy up and head out until next year.
That left me with the entire afternoon (again, time was relative) to play play play with my new stuff. Most of what I received growing up required my creativity. I didn’t have a lot of useless toys. In fact, I had a lot of scientific stuff. Things that I would have to build, or figure out. It was perfect for me.
For dinner, we would cart everything over to my mom’s side of the family and do it all over again. Opening gifts, playing the piano, eating, eating, eating. Eventually the night would lead to me faking my own sleep so they’d have to carry me out. I don’t know if I did that because I was lazy and didn’t want to walk, or if I just liked being carried by mom or dad. Probably the latter ;).
The holidays used to be filled with family. Now it’s just me. Mom and Dad divorced something like 20 years ago and both re-married. Suzanne (Gu Gu), Evelyn (Baca Baca) and Grandaddy are all gone now, and so is Su Su, my mom’s sister Susan. Uncle Tom has been living in Santa Barbara for quite some time now, and the Merritt family has been in Oklahoma for eons.
I know that there are plenty of people with open homes on a day like today, and I love that. But, even as warm and inviting as it may be, it’s just not the same. In fact, sometimes it’s even harder when you’re invited somewhere that’s outside of the realm of what you envision as your own family tradition. I’m getting older, and I feel behind almost everyone I know. My entire circle of friends, save for a few, have either been married and have kids, or are married with kids, or are newly married.
Today, I was supposed to be spending time with someone I had been interested in. That came to an abrupt end on the 22nd, and even though it’s probably the right direction, it still stinks.
So for now, and as long as I can see, Christmas is going to be tough. This past year I’ve spent most of my energy getting out of debt, which meant sacrificing in so many areas that I had become accustomed to maintaining. I still have a housing issue to deal with, but other than that, I owe no-one, which is a major accomplishment.
I have no idea what the future holds, but it’s got to be better than this. I know, I know…I could come over to your house and spend time with you, and I appreciate the offer. Today, I’ll be joining my Dad, as he is also alone this Christmas, and we’ll eat that damn California Pizza Kitchen frozen pizza, have our own effin’ bloody mary’s, and watch some foosball or something like that, even though I hate football.
I hope that your Christmas is what you envision it to be this year…one day mine will be again.