Sunday, December 05, 2010

To Quote Half Man Half Biscuit: It's Cliche To Be Cynical at Christmas

I have a confession to make. I'm feeling merry.

I know, I know. I'm supposed to be ironically un-festive. I went to an ugly sweater party and I have a Flying Spaghetti Monster tree topper, so I'm doing my part. I have to admit, though, that the holiday radio station is on in my car and I made a special effort to decorate the apartment and put up a tree. I was even positively giddy at the first big snowfall on Saturday, despite the fact that it took me half an hour to dig my car out to go to work.

Now, some people are Christmas People. They have perfect cards with perfect photographs that are always out by December 15th. They own Santa hats and wear them to work. They have special Christmas hand towels which guests are not actually supposed to use. They visit the Christmas village displays in the back of Hallmark regularly during the spring and summer to get their Christmas fix. I'm not that kind of Christmas person. Previously, I've treated the holiday with typical irreverence, making the usual sneering remarks about rampant materialism and maudlin nostalgia. Now that my mother has sold the house in which I grew up and my siblings have scattered across the country, I'm realizing that it's unlikely that we'll have another family Christmas, and it's making me more wistful than I anticipated.

It's not as if I'm bereft. The First Mate has a large and inclusive family who has welcomed me for holidays for years, and I'll be celebrating this one with them. I'm working Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, though, and when I first found out I was kind of at a loss. I've never been away from my family on Christmas Eve. Then I had one of those adult moments that keep sneaking up on me. I am my family, I realized. I don't need to latch on to someone else's conventions. I can make up my own traditions, and I can be filled with good cheer if I goddamn well want to. And, I have decided, I do. Despite the carnival of consumerism (which I deplore) and the religious background (which I'm moving beyond) I genuinely like the Christmas season. People are actively encouraged to celebrate the things they appreciate about each other and to be kinder to their fellows, and who doesn't need more of that? Also, everything is twinkly and I am easily entertained.

I trimmed a tree and listened to the Vandals singing "Oi To The World," I'm being closer to the people I care about, and I will wake up Christmas morning to fresh raisin bread, my family of cats and boyfriend, and a city full of my dearest friends. What better gift could I get?

Posted by Silent Five @ 10:14 PM

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Working Christmas Eve *and* Christmas Day? What terrible Morlocks are you working for? (I get to end sentences in prepositions because I'm umpteenth-generation Midwest. I also shop at Nordstroms and The Jewels.)

Enjoy building your holiday traditions. :) It's a beautiful opportunity. Also, massive congratulations to your mother for selling her house in this market!!

Posted by OpenID olyphant @ 8:50 AM #
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Word of the Week

gymnosophy [jim-NAH-so-fee]

n. Philosophical, amusing, or nonsensical insights realized when naked, as in the shower or in bed. (recent coinage: att. S. Galasso, 2010)

Victoria and Albert enjoyed a spot of postprandial concupiscence culminating in a night of gymnosophy and coffee and crumpets at dawn.

The Silent Top Five: Bacon-Flavored Desserts

1) Bacon cheesecake.
2) Bacon gumballs.
3) Bacon ice cream.
4) Bacon-orange bars.
5) Bacon apple pie.

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