First Annual Holiday Note to Self:
Each year, you try to have a lower-key Christmas. You try to lessen your waste footprint and do only the things that are meaningful. But it mounts. You think you can get off easy after the note to the friends and family, “Hey, I love you madly. But I am laying low this season and will get back with you in January!” You think you can hibernate and make recycled cards from two years’ worth of cards collected for this very purpose. You are humbled that people you haven’t spoken with in years still send you cards with their breathtakingly gorgeous and grown up children on them. (Hey! Those teen twins! Weren’t they just, like, 2?”)
But then Annie, who is your inspiration and laugh-riot girlfriend, comes over and says, “Hey, what do you say we do Nochebuena Thursday night? I bought a ham! Can we do it here? And can I invite a couple artists who don’t have anything to do?” And of course you say yes because you would never deny holiday orphans, which, by the way, you are this year for reasons too sad to delve into for this semi-humorous note.
And you go to the store and get a bunch of food to feed other holiday orphans you never met, and you make your fourth batch of rum balls this week (where DID they all go? Hmm?) so you are sure to not run out and so that you can bring some to the OTHER holiday orphan parties this year.
And you sit, scrunched over at your desk, developing a knot like a billiard ball between your shoulders, looking for the exact right funny Santa to cut out from an old card and paste onto a somber religious scene with a peacefully lit tree. Because it is soothing and arty and fun and nobody can tell you that you did it wrong.
And your dog has had a terrible time of it with something too gross to post publicly, and she is sleepy and hungry but you can’t feed her per vet’s orders, even though she’s giving you that WTF look. And you are broke, broke, broke from said vet visit, but relieved that she will be OK for at least another 12 years.
And you remember the Christmastime you got away from it all and spent three months in Southeast Asia, swaying in a hammock on a Thai beach on Dec. 25, listening to Nat King Cole on your Walkman, scoffing at the lights wound round the palm trees. And so, so, alone and sad.
And this, dear Self, is why you are so very grateful to roast beets and clean spinach and go back to Trader Joe’s yet again because you forgot the feta and the pecans. To feed people you love and people you never met.