At least for the moment it is.
Who knows what it’ll be like on Christmas Day. Probably mud and slop. But for now, there are snowflakes falling down.
Christmas is always a tough time for me. There, I said it. Maybe you’re one of those happy holiday hobbits, running around in a reindeer hat, and a wreath on the grill of your car, with blow-up Santas and Bumbles in your front yard, Clark W. Grizwold light display all over your house. Not me.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not exactly Ebeneezer Scrooge-Sackville-Baggins or anything. We put up a tree, and some lights, throw one of the best parties ever: the Southern Fried, Yankee Yule Cooking Contest. And we give gifts, mostly things we make ourselves: chocolate chip cookies, caramel ‘crack corn, citrus rubs, etc. Sometimes I even make jars of my BBQ Sauce. On Christmas Eve, I put on my Santa Hat with faux leopard print, my kilt, and I go out to drink a few beers at the Green Dragon, buy a couple of gifts, then come back home, or go to the Outlaw’s (is that what you call them when you’re not technically married?)
There are things about the season I love, but at almost 50 years old, and having gone through 2 divorces, moved 1500 miles away my daughter and the rest of my blood kin, it’s a tough time of year. On top of that, one of my cousins died of cancer suddenly, on the 21st, and his mom, my aunt, is fighting cancer herself. Add to that the fact that I’m a writer/farmers market manager—which means I’m too broke to pay attention—the frustration with Christmas gets a bit much some days. It’s enough to drive a man to drink, and sit in a chair staring at the wall while listening to Sarah McLachlin Christmas tunes, contemplating a long skate on some very thin, river ice. Luckily, I really suck at ice skating, the Mississippi isn’t frozen over yet—thanks to El Nino—and I love myself a bit too much.
One of the reasons the season is so tough for me these days, I think, is because due to all the life disruptions in my adult life, most of my old traditions have disappeared, and Paysh and I have had a difficult time building new ones, due to various factors. But I think we’re gonna work on it. Might be a bit late for this year, though I’m gonna give it a 2 minute warning, good-ole college try, the next couple of days, to see what can be salvaged.
Tuesday the 22nd was a bitch of a day for me; I was really down. But yesterday (the 23rd) I felt a turn. I decided to focus on doing some things for other people I know. I cranked up some happy Christmas tunes, so loud the windows were shakin’, and got busy wrapping up some things for people. A couple of them will get paperback copies of the book—luckily for them, I still had a few in my closet. Some will get some caramel corn, or citrus scrubs that Paysh makes. Some will just get a call from me, which is of course, worth its weight in gold—it doesn’t actually weigh anything.
This morning, Christmas Eve, I’m gonna put the kilt on, grab the few gifts I have to hand out, get out there and drop them on doorsteps. Then I’m gonna have a beer or two—if I can scrape up the coin and my long-hoarded-bar-token (it’s somewhere in my bedroom), and head to Bennett’s, otherwise known as the Green Dragon Inn. Then I’ll pick up my pretty lady from Scrooge-Saruman’s office—she works for a bank. Then we’re headed to her parent’s house for dinner, and hopefully to 2 or 3 evening parties in our Shire, the West Side.
Anyway, I promise I’ll get back to writing more articles in 2016, and, I’m working on a NEW BOOK! Yes! Stay tuned for that one. You don’t wanna miss it.