This year I had some trouble getting in the holiday spirit, and Florida is a strange place to go looking for Christmas anything (unless that anything includes tacky, of which there is plenty). When I was growing up, Christmas meant going to holiday services at our Unitarian church and then sitting in the living room inhaling the scent of pine tree and listening to music from the Nutcracker. On Christmas morning, we'd open presents and then my mom would make waffles and we'd all laze around playing with presents and avoiding the cold weather. I was a big old Christmas snob about how to celebrate Christmas, until a few years ago when I realized that the more time I spent with my parents the more I became like them, and I immediately set out to find some new traditions. Luckily, we do Christmas with Lunchboy's mom down south now and it's about as far as you can get from the way my family did things. Because Lunchboy's late father loved Outback Steakhouse, we have dinner there on Christmas eve with his mom and sister. This year his mom's new boyfriend was supposed to join us but backed out at the last minute, claiming that it "would be more comfortable if it was just us," which is code for he's had it with Lunchboy's sister's snarkiness. On Christmas morning, we open presents and go to the beach. There's a lot to be said for white Christmases, but seeing the sunlight hit the ocean speaks volumes on its own. I'm not sure where I'm going with this but all I can say is that I appreciate this Christmas for what it is. I'm still not feeling super merry, but I am feeling extremely grateful for my husband, who is kind and gives new meaning to the term "supportive," who never ceases to amaze me and has not left my side over the past three weeks; for friends who call just to say hi even though I haven't been good on email lately; for the fact that our little Pepe found a good, loving home and is safe and warm; for our ability to come here and be in the sun; for my doctor, who calls me to make sure I'm ok even though she's on vacation in North Carolina; for the fact that the world isn't as bad as it seems when things look bleak.
For the record, I'm completely aware of the fact that this has been a shitty holiday season for a lot of people and I'm under no misconception (HA!) that our little hiccup was the worst thing ever to happen in the history of the world. I can't explain why I've been in such a dark mood or why getting perspective has been harder than usual, but it has. I'm working on it and if I forgot to ask how you're doing, I'm sorry.