The holiday is a pretty big deal in my family, and when I was little I loved sneaking downstairs to see what Santa had left and then waiting for the family to come over, fill the house until we could barely move, then stuff our faces and play games. But things have been changing. My brother was born — and so instead of waking up at my grandparents’ house on Christmas morning I have to sleep at my mom’s; my older cousins grew up, got married, had kids and no longer come over for dinner; and people seem to go home before we get to play any games.
And this year, I just wasn’t looking forward to giving or getting anything. I have developed some sort of allergic reaction to malls. I walk by the Yankee Candle store, or Bath and Body works and the smell sends me into a dizzying search for fresh air. The site of teenagers or Abercrombie give me the dry heaves. So, I shopped online — hitting Amazon, and Netflix for most of my gifts, with Heifer International running a close third. This has been my strategy for years now (starting back when I lived in *shudder* New Jersey and I didn’t want to have to lug my packages across state lines and so just had them shipped home).
This year, I didn’t even put up my little tree, because I didn’t feel like dealing with the destruction my cats would rain down upon it. Instead, I took some big ornaments and hung them on the tree outside my house, and put some lights up around a window. Good enough.
Despite my apathy, though, I had a really nice Christmas. There were no arguments — quite a feat — I sort of unexpectedly got a Wii, and the board game tradition was revived when we played Life…and nearly killed my nana by making her laugh so hard she had a coughing fit (I am lucky to have one of the few grandmothers who find tasteless abortion jokes funny).
And despite my complaining about New Year’s Eve on one Colin McEnroe Show, it looks like I might have actual plans this year (as opposed to years past where I’ve played dominoes with Nana or sat around watching the Travel Channel and getting drunk with my ex). Nothing is finalized looked but it looks like I’ll at least have drunk friends to hang out with. Good enough.