I’m home. It’s been a week, whirlwind, stuffed full of fun and emotion and family and friends and weather and food and drink and love. I can’t remember the last night I spent here, I think it was perhaps last Sunday night. Time is, once again if not still, playing with me.
The holidays are what they are for people. I’ve never been one to stand firmly in any camp. I love the holidays. I abhor the holidays. Most of the time it depended on where I was in my own life, and what was shaking down from my family life as to how I was going to approach this time of year.
Some years, especially after my parents divorced, were as miserable as a burn. It was a pain that had no simple solution nor any end in sight. . . until all of a sudden. . . it was gone. There were especially good years, during my early relationships, after my family seemed to heal a bit, those firsts with the babies that bring out the excitement and love…and then that went away and I was miserable again. Depression a few years ago struck so hard that I didn’t even put up a tree.
I. didn’t. even. put. up. a. tree.
It’s hard for as many reasons as it is special to people. I chose not to dwell on the misery. I really do love the lights. I love my house decorated and homey. I love the tree and the smell and the ornaments that I recall from years past. I push the little red ball with Wonderboy’s picture and his voice recorded and I think…”that was when he loved us all more than the computer.” But it can be wonky, to be sure.
Navigating this season, coming off of the most intense semester to date, really trying to be sure of my next steps, professionally, juggling the financial pressures, the time off and scheduling as well as maneuvering it all with a new relationship and trying not to trip and fall…
Well I didn’t do it this year.
This year, I tripped.
I’m learning, though. I’m learning to vocalize what I want and need, even though it may not coincide with what I’ve always done, where I’ve always been. Understanding that communication is the most important item on the list, and checking it twice is a lesson I’ve learned again this season.
It hasn’t been time without hurt feelings, or shitty behavior. I will learn to be better at the gift buying and giving. I will not screw up the buttermilk pie because I’m DrunkBaking.
I think for the most part, this Christmas was a success. His family liked the roasted vegetables and the cranberry salsa/creme cheese appetizer. My dad met Mark, and we all spent some time laughing together as a family. I was astounded more than once at the awesome things I got. Three Le Creuset cookware pieces, a new NorthFace and some gloves that I can use with my iPhone and a pen carved out of the ugly tree that used to live in front of my house (remember my wine glasses from last year?) I’m using it to take notes for next year. I’m figuring it out. I’m not convinced that my big gifts were the WOW that I thought they would be…Who knows. I’ll keep a better list this next year, make some mental notes…who knows where we’ll all be in 12 months, right?
Tonight, I’m about to go make chili and get some cleaning done for my holiday party here tomorrow night. Talaura, Cindy and our friends will all gather round and have a drink and a nosh and just enjoy the time before it all winds down. Sunday is my first meeting for our Listen To Your Mother Show, and I’ve got to start making some notes for that. It’s cold and brisk outside, the cats are all snuggly and happy to have me home.
All in all, on this night of the final full moon of 2012, I have to say I think we did our first couple Christmas well. I’m excited for the next few days that are minimal obligations. And like most of you, I’m looking forward to putting a tag on this year. The Long Night’s Moon is what they call it tonight…I think I’ll go howl one last time.