There's something about this time of year -- a magic, a feeling of specialness that manages to make even the darkest times seem not so grim. As people face tough economic times, today gives us all a chance to stop and look around and see what's important. Christmas isn't about the presents or the feast. It's about love and hope and joy.
Or something like that.
As I hinted earlier, my Christmas isn't panning out quite the way I'd planned. My mother decided about a week ago that she would rather spend Christmas elsewhere -- specifically with her new boyfriend who happens to be the father-in-law of our icky white trash cousin (daughter of my mother's sister). Yes, we were invited to said celebration, but my sis and I both agreed that we would rather have needles shoved into our eyeballs than spend Christmas with these people whom we've never held in very high esteem. This is the side of the family we've never really been all that proud to claim -- the cousin who has 4 children with 4 different fathers (and I think she was only married to two of them), who showed up at my grandmother's funeral in jeans and a sweatshirt, who more than once referred to me as a "snot" because I brought a book to a family picnic. (I should note that I was in this sort of odd place in the family where everyone was either significantly older than I or significantly younger than I and so I had no one with whom I could comfortably socialize at the age of 10.) Needless to say, this is just not the way I wanted to spend Christmas -- driving two hours away to spend Christmas with people I don't like or know outside of my mother, who becomes really fake and icky when she gets around those people.
And so my sis and I are spending a very low key Christmas just the two of us. We had a nice quiet breakfast this morning, opened presents, and are getting ready to prepare a delicious feast. Yeah, there's a part of me that's still a little depressed that my mother would rather spend a Christmas with these people than with her own children, but at least it takes a tremendous amount of stress off my shoulders and not have to worry about making everything perfect. I'll still TRY to make a perfect meal, but if it doesn't turn out that way, oh, well. It's just me and the sis.
So with that, the sis and I are going to settle in and watch our favorite Christmas movie (Christmas in Connecticut -- a little more obscure, but watch it and tell you the main character doesn't remind you a little of me!) before enjoying a delicious meal of roast beef, mashed potatoes, and cornbread casserole (an item so delicious that my mother called to get my recipe so she could make it for her "new family" as my sis has started calling them). Oh, and lots and lots of wine. :)
Merry Christmas, everyone!