It's more than 24 days until the inauguration, when our new President will have flocks of shepherds visiting his humble abode, he'll be swaddled in a manger and three dudes he's never met will give him some gold and a couple of smelly blobs of goo. Oh, wait, wrong guy. Don't mistake me, I am TOTALLY stoked that Barack is heading for the White House. But the X-Mas is coming. The X-Mas is coming. . .
Yes, it is a beast. A monster. A time of year unlike any other when our desire for choking the living crap out of others far outstrips our need for holly, tinsel and sleigh rides. But not egg nog. Oh, no, nothing ever competes with the egg nog.
I had a couple of glasses whilst I trimmed the tree and decked the halls over the last few days (see widget on the lower left about my diss hell--not a word was written other than for this blog). Everything is dripping with memories. Swollen with emotion.
I am not sure why I do it, the decorating and wrestling with the lights and that f*cking ribbon, every year I swear I am not going to put it on the tree (the spiked egg nog helps). Perhaps it is a desire to recapture those feelings as a child of yummy things baking and getting bundled up to go sledding on the hill in our back yard or ice skating on our neighborhood pond. The glass topped table my mom would foist the tree atop so that there was room for gifts for our enormous family (Catholics and their litters). The choice X-Mas vinyl with Johnny Mathis, Steve Lawrence and Edie Gourmet (sp?), Andy Williams, Robert Goulet, Maurice Chevalier, and Barbra Streisand that all remind me (to tears most of the time) of those days as a child. I cry as I decorate, thinking of my parents singing "O Holy Night" together when I was little. Then the years after my parents' divorce when my mom sang it at our new church at midnight mass. I will never be able to listen to the traditional stuff without crying. I put ornaments on tree branches that once hung on the tree on the glass top table. I would lay under it and look up into the center after it was all put together. The picture of our tree above isn't on a table, but I like the reflection of it on the floor; it makes it look like it's up on that table, sort of.
This is my first X-Mas with my husband (as married folk, not living in "sin"). I made him a stocking (picture to come soon). I keep telling him that this or that will be part of OUR X-Mas traditions. My mom would always cry putting up the decorations. She would say she missed her Dad or Mom. In later years it would be my Dad or her brother she missed.
X-Mas is a beast. A monster. But it does help me remember to hug those I love a little harder, to be thankful for the laughter in my life, to maybe cut others a bit of slack. If I can't remember those few things, the egg nog helps. I promise. You should try it.