A Crotchety Christmas
Christmas is a very special time of year. Competing with the grandeur and spectacle of the yuletide celebration is a tall order. No other holiday celebration even comes close to the month-long festival of parades, television specials, religious services, community events, parties, dinners, and gift exchanges taking place in the Christmas season.
Bah humbug! I’m over it. Somewhere along the way, my Christmas spirit flew the coop. Good riddance. I’ve moved on, and left no forwarding address.
I quit decorating years ago. My ex (and the one before him) were responsible for any decorations in my house. Dragging all that crap out, untangling strings of lights, and then taking a day to put it all back up was too much trouble.
The transition from happy elf to curmudgeon occurred gradually, over many years. The Santa hoax revelation got the ball rolling. By the time I moved out on my own, Christmas had become as much about stuff I had to do as anything else.
Coming out to my family sped things up. For years, my partner wasn’t welcome. Christmases with all my loved ones present but the one I most wanted to be with were more miserable than merry. Watching all the happy couples exchanging gifts did little to cheer me up. My family eventually became more accepting, but Christmas had lost much of its luster and shine.
The arrival of my nephew and niece caused a temporary reversal in the erosion of my Christmas spirit. Uncle Mike dazzled the little darlings with fairy dust until, as children are wont to do, they became teenagers. Buying presents for them when they were little ranks very high on my “most fun I ever had” list. Though not as fun for me, they love the less sparkly checks they get now just as much.
My parents divorced in their sixties, after almost fifty years of marriage. Family traditions vanished, overnight. For several years, I traveled north to Virginia to spend Christmas with my niece and nephew et al. Mom moved to Roanoke a few years after the divorce to be closer to my sister, giving me an extra reason to make the trip.
I got tired of traveling over Christmas and quit going. Now snow storms and an absolute loathing of cold weather keep me from traveling north from the end of September until April or even May. I spend the extra time off from work, writing usually. Being alone on Christmas doesn’t bother me one little bit.
This year, I’m running down to Florida with my ex to spend a few days at the family compound. Our ongoing friendship is confusing to others, and more than a little complicated, but it works for us. Tico and Toodles will be glad to spend a few days together too.