I'm feeling a little blah about the holidays this year.
Now, before you get all preachy with me and berate me for feeling blah when I'm healthy and employed and have a wonderful husband and a beautiful baby girl who will celebrate her first Christmas, let me just say I KNOW. And I already feel bad for feeling bad.
There's no real reason for my holiday blahs. I just don't feel very sparkly about it all.
It's a combination of a few things, I think. Mostly, I'm really missing my family this year, and I don't just mean my parents. This will be the third holiday season I've spent with the Boose family and while I'm very grateful for this and do enjoy going to Ohio (for any Booses reading this, please don't take it personally), I just miss feeling connected to my roots and my past during the holidays.
Greg and I have already decided that this will be the last year that we spend both Thanksgiving and Christmas in Ohio, which is what we've done for the last three years. It's weird being the one who doesn't have parents or a home to go home to. I think we both just kind of assumed that we would always spend the holidays in Ohio. But we don't have to do that at all, actually.
It's hard to meld into someone else's family. Ask anyone who has ever spent the holidays with someone else's family. Every single person I know has something to say about what it's like to have in-laws, especially around the holidays. Greg could even tell you about our trips to Cape Cod and how they're both fun and stressful for him. And next year he'll have lots to say about it…after we spend Thanksgiving there.
Figuring out how to spend the holidays when you don't have parents is a weird thing to have to do.
When I think back over the last 6 years since my father has been gone, there are three Christmases that stand out. The first one that comes to mind was one spent in Los Angeles with friends. My boyfriend J. Ryan and I hosted a really cozy Christmas eve dinner with our friends, George, Lucy, Edan, Tim, Glasgow and Heather. I made eggplant parmesan for the first time and we had a silly gift exchange in which people won things like hemp socks and condoms, and for dessert I made a Christmas creme brulee with edible gold leaf. There were no parents or families or expectations. We all went home to our own beds that night, woke up to our usual lives the next day. It was nice.
The next year that comes to mind took place the following year. This was actually the worst Christmas following the death of my parents. This was the Christmas I spent alone. I was single and living in LA, trying really hard to figure out to be on my own out in the world. I spent Christmas Eve with my Jewish friend Paul and his Dad at a Mexican restaurant and I joined my friend Abby's family for a while on Christmas day (Abby's family is so lovely that it kind of made me feel worse). The best part of that holiday was a solitary run down the Venice boardwalk on Christmas morning, the palm trees sparkling in the sunshine, the ocean looming huge and important. The rest of it I spent in a drunken, lonely blur, feeling sorry for myself. Awesome, huh?
Finally, the third Christmas that comes to mind is the first that I spent with Greg. We went back to Ohio and since we weren't married yet we slept in different rooms, which was quite sweet. I remember waking up on Christmas morning alone on the pull-out couch in the study, and laying there for a little while, soaking up the quiet and the solitude, and thinking about how this was the first Christmas I would spend with the man that I knew I was going to marry.
Okay, okay, I'm actually cheering myself up a bit here, just thinking about it and how far we've come already since that morning two years ago.
And yes, this year Veronica is definitely a bright spot in my holiday gloom. My friend Ashley was over last night and I think she must have said on three separate occasions that V is a terrible influence on birth control users. You need to start writing about crying more often, she said. But I just can't. I'm having too much fun with her. If V is really making your ovaries ache, like Tricia said this picture caused her to do, then go back and read some of the early entries just after she was born. (I truly thought I'd ruined my life.)
Since we're headed to Ohio tomorrow, Greg and I are planning a little Christmas celebration at home tonight. It'll actually be more along the lines of Feliz Navidad, since I'm making tacos. (Yay for Christmas tacos!) Greg will build a fire and we'll open a bottle of wine and exchange gifts. Veronica will squeal and coo and clambor over us in an attempt to eat wrapping paper and grab at the cats and the snow will fall softly outside the windows and I'll remember just how much I have to be grateful for.
Happy holidays to all of you out there, blah and all.
Okay, these questions that you've been seeing at the bottom of some of my posts are not just for you to think about. I really want to hear your answers! I loved getting to hear so many of your stories a few weeks ago during the diaper bag give-away and it made me realize how much more I'd love to hear from readers. So, speak up!
Do you share your holidays with another family? What are the best and worst parts of that? How do you keep your sense of roots and home when in someone else's?