This holiday season had the potential to be pretty depressing and lonely, as it’s the first one I’ve spent alone. Most years, I went back and saw my family, and last year I was here with Adrian and the doggie, and we barely acknowledged the existence of the holidays (or each other, it was a shitty holiday season). And in the past, since I wasn’t here, I never decorated or did anything for the holidays myself. This year, for some reason, I got it in my head that I needed a little Christmas.
It started with some garland I got at the drugstore, just some red sparkly thing that I put around my staircase banister outside my apartment. Then I found a tree skirt and some used ornaments at the Exchange, a local place where people drop off stuff they don’t want and forage for new stuff. We were headed out, and I saw some purple ball ornaments, then some silver and green, and I got a box of each. While looking through the pile of boxes, I said to my friend, in a low voice, as we were talking about, here’s some green balls and some silver balls, I go, “At least there’s no blue balls,” and the lady working there heard me and started laughing. Caught in the act of having the dirty mind of a thirteen-year-old boy, what can I say? Anyway I had some ornament balls but no tree. Then a friend of mine went off-island and brought me back a little 4-ft artificial tree.
I was surprised how delighted the little tree made me. It was the weekend and I had all my presents I was going to mail that Monday sitting under the tree. I had fun wrapping them, writing cards, mailing the presents and just generally having a tree with little lights. I even listened to some Christmas music.
So, somewhere along the way I decided to celebrate the holiday, try to make my own traditions and my own Christmas, and the funny thing is, I’ve had a great Christmas season, I feel pretty happy with it, satisfied being on my own, a lot of the pressure’s off, and it feels like yet another one of those “coming into my own as an adult” things. I even decided to get myself a few presents, just a few things I ordered online, that will make me happy. Plus for awhile there I was afraid I’d have nothing to open on Christmas and I wanted to have something.
A friend gave me some (real) holly which helped decorate the apartment some more, and I made the sugar cookies my family always makes. Later today I’ll make more and bake some pumpkin bread. I’m going three different places tomorrow and had to turn down an invitation to go to a friend’s parents’ place off-island. So I’ll have time with friends, my friends, people I want to spend the holiday with. I also went to a Christmas concert put on by an amazingly gifted island woman, Susan Osborn, and some amazingly gifted island musicians.
Overall, I think this is like, my best Christmas season. I woke up super-early today so I’m going to go back to sleep for awhile, run some errands, mail some cards (yeah, they’ll be late), and then plan my day so it’s full of baking, maybe some reading, maybe a long walk, some episodes of House, and make it nice & cozy & fun.
Merry Christmas and everything else, everyone!
“Extraordinary Machine” – Fiona Apple