Christmas came and went this year not with a bang, but with a slight murmur. We’d “split” Christmas this year, due to not everyone in my immediately family being able to come home for the holiday-the first time ever for us. So we’d had what I’ve been calling “mini-Christmas” a week and a half earlier, then the actual event again on the 25th but absent some key participants.
While the experience was certainly enjoyable both times, somehow it seemed to lessen the overall effect of the holiday. Maybe it’s because the holiday for me has strongly leaned towards everyone being home and together, and even at “mini-Christmas” that wasn’t really the case, doubly so since everything was still open and there wasn’t that day where we were all together and doing things and generally driving each other crazy.
But don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed myself. In some ways this muted holiday was the best one I’d had in a while, because the different circumstances seemed to rob any opportunities for drama. (Well, not entirely true. But close enough, at any rate.) It was definitely stretched out, though, and of course while the holiday isn’t just about exchanging gifts, the fact that even that got moved into three days (some with family on the 14th, more with family on the 25th, then with Charlie on the 28th) made it feel a bit odd.
Happily, though, people seemed to like what they received. I sometimes find myself really worrying about what to get people, because I want them to really enjoy the gift, the idea that they’ll know that they’re important to me and I thought about them for a while before making a selection. (Even choosing off an online wish list is something that I try and do with care, and if necessary I will abandon said list and go in an entirely different direction.) I got some lovely gifts in return as well, some fun games for the Wii and PSP, a few books I’ve been coveting (and how fun is it to get a coffee-table art book where you actually own one of the pieces spotlighted?), a couple of DVDs, some CDs, some refills on products I use (like cologne and body lotion), a piece or two of clothing… all things very much appreciated and enjoyed.
On the whole, though, it’s been a little quiet. Charlie and I had tickets to see Avery Brooks perform Tamburlaine at the Shakespeare Theatre for the 27th, only to have the production cancelled due to Brooks being injured (and the original understudy having to suddenly leave the production due to a family emergency). Thankfully, after two weeks of cancellations, it is now resuming and we’re rescheduled for next weekend on closing night. Hopefully Brooks will be able to resume the role then, but I’ll just be happy to finally see it. I spent part of the holiday just feeling tired (although a 6-miler on Christmas Day helped shake the doldrums), and a little wistful that due to both of us having family engagements, not spending the day itself with Charlie. But we’ve got plenty of time for that down the road.
Really, though, when it all comes down to it? While Christmas dinner was pending one final arrival, I remember sitting downstairs in the living room with one of my sisters, four cousins, and a close friend while we discussed the movie playing, Christmases in general, relatives who weren’t there, and any other conversational tangent that jumped out. And it was really nice. So there we go, really.
Only 361 more days until Christmas.