Let me begin by saying that I had a wonderful “Christmas.”
I put Christmas in quotes because, as it has been for a long time, Christmas is really a couple to a bunch of Christmases at different places over what may be a several week period (only 6 days this year).
It was great to see almost all of my (immediate) family; everyone, that is, except my Mom and my little (younger than Sara) brother, David, who is in the Air Force and currently stationed at Fort Gordon, GA (Disgusta, GA. Horrible shivers!).
I got to hang out with both my kids most of the afternoon/evening Christmas Eve and pretty much all day Christmas at the ex’s. And Jeremy met me at the diner for breakfast Wednesday as he headed to his girlfriend’s in Ohio.
Yesterday, I went to St. Louis to hang out with Dad’s side of the family (minus David). My sister and her family had driven in from DC. I went down and back yesterday, but was there from around 11 AM – 8:30 PM. That was nice.
I got several nice presents, including Cowboy Junkies The Trinity Session, Virginia Tufte’s Artful Sentences: Syntax as Style, Davis and Phillips’ Learning PHP and MySQL, The Muppet Show Season 1 DVD, Epictetus’ The Art of Living, Cicero’s On the Good Life and $80 for books.
I am already reading Epictetus, and I have no doubt I could finish it by this evening, but no need to rush it.
I like not getting a ridiculous amount of stuff; makes life a bit more manageable. I am, almost paradoxically, excited about having cash to exchange for more “books,” though. Plenty left on the wish list.
But back to the title:
As Christmas Eve arrived, I did not greet the day knowing that I was heading to Mary’s, as I did not know both kids were already there. It was also a Sunday morn so doubly slow. Once I learned they were there (around 10 AM, I think) I was still needing breakfast. So, I cleaned up, got dressed and headed to Merry Ann’s diner on the way.
I sat in what I hoped was a quiet spot, next to a couple around my age. This couple. This couple. I wanted to knock their heads together! I felt bad about it; I did [I still have plenty of Baptist guilt to go around]. But I really did want to knock their heads together and yell at them to “Grow the fuck up!”
I finally had to pull out the laptop and throw in my earbuds to try and drown out the incessant whine, which did not work so well. For the whole time I was there—trying to enjoy my Christmas Eve breakfast—one or the other was on the phone, loudly, complaining about portions of their family, how fucked up it was that they had to miss most of the football game today to be somewhere with family, how they went late to something else because of some awesome new interactive game system, shouldn’t the brother’s families just get together and play games and ignore the rest of their familial commitments [clearly not their words], yadda, yadda, yadda.
Jesus. I wanted to scream! I mean WTF! If your family really does suck that much, then Christ almighty (whose birthday we are theoretically celebrating), get a new family! If you are my age in this world, and you have yet to figure out that you create your own family, you are, well, in serious freaking trouble.
I’m no longer Christian, and even when I was Christmas was also highly secular, nonetheless, Christmas for me is about love, family, being with the ones you love and the family you have created, sharing that time together, and traditions, including starting your own [the last is very important]. There are few good reasons to be with people you don’t really consider family (or at least friends, in a traditional sense of “friend”) at this time of year. Call me old-fashioned. Anyway, this couple really started my “Christmas” out badly. “Grow the fuck up, people!”
At least I got these shots out of this trip to the diner.
My other, even bigger, Christmas gripe is about television. And I think maybe I’ll just leave it at that.
I did have a great holiday season—generally low-key, not a lot of traveling, got to spend time with most everyone, and a got a few great gifts. There were just two biggies that I’d like to avoid in future manifestations of “Christmas.”
I hope everyone’s was at least as good as mine! And, although, I might say it again later in the day … Happy New Year 2007!