December 1, 2001
doing my Christmas shopping this morning ... even as we speak.
the second year in a row I'm shopping in my pajamas, in front of the
computer, over coffee ... in the dark and quiet of early morning, while
rain beats against the windows of the apartment and my husband sleeps
noisily in the next room. (Yes, I know that I said recently that I've
become addicted to *real* shopping ... the kind of shopping you do out
there in the *real* world, at *real* shopping malls, with *real* sullen
adolescent store clerks ... but I would have to be *real* INSANE
to brave the elements -- and the crowds -- this weekend.)
actually been kind of fun so far ... in a nerdy, domestic,
computer-geeky sort of way, I mean. In the past forty minutes alone
I've crossed two and a half Tots, The World's Cutest Nephew, an
honorary son-in-law, an ex-husband and a handful of moms (*real* Mom,
mom-in-law, step-mom) off my list. At this rate, I should be completely
finished with my shopping by noon.
I can sit back and ignore Christmas for the rest of the month.
won't be flying to TicTac for the holidays this year. We reached this
sad but unavoidable decision a couple of weeks ago. It's mostly a
financial decision (see: still paying off WEDDING stuff), although
there are other factors at play: new job/no paid time off ... increased
airport security, making flying even more of a pain in the butt than
usual ... wanting to spend my first "married" Christmas with my husband
(this will be our fourth Christmas as a couple, yet we've never spent
it in the same Zip Code together) ... etc. etc. etc. I broke the news
to Jaymi while she was here for her visit, and then I began the painful
process of informing other family members, some of whom are taking
the news harder than others.
(Son #Only: "That sucks. Did
you get my wish list?")
we all seem to agree that Christmas is still going to happen. It's just
going to happen without me sitting there on the
sofa this year, screaming at everybody to "Save the wrapping
paper! Save the wrapping paper!"
I'm just going to sort of ignore the holidays as much as possible this
year, if that's OK with everybody.
baking. No decorating. No hand-crafted pinecone-and-marshmallow candle
holders. No Bing Crosby records or "It's A Wonderful Life" marathons or
little clusters of porcelain snowman figurines, tastefully arranged on
bookcase shelves. (Although I may eventually drag the little plastic
tree out of the closet and prop it up on the headboard or something.
We'll see.) If I do experience the occasional *holiday spirit*
molecule, I'll drop another bag of groceries into the Food Bank
donation bin. As for the website ... I'm warning you right now that you
won't be seeing a lot of silly cyber doodads and geegaws appearing on
my splash page, or hearing me wax nostalgic about "The Grandma
Christmases," or following links to the Elf Bowl Home Page this year.
*FootNotes* -- just like everything else about my life this month --
will remain simple and austere and mistletoe-free.
isn't self-pity. It's self-preservation. It'll be OK.
-- if I find myself wandering too far down the Ebeneezer Scrooge road
this holiday season -- I can always remind myself that Christmas next
year will undoubtedly be twice as busy and meaningful and crazed and
expensive and noisy and exhausting and joyous and nerve-wracking and
special and "fun" ... simply for having taken one year off.
I'll still probably do my Christmas shopping in my