No. Not city sidewalks...
But all kinds of other stuff. This year, for whatever reason, it truly feels Christmasy to me. Last year was cold (finally! we've had some downer warmish years for a while) but TOO much snow. Enough snow to put everything at a stand still and/or crawl it too much. This year it's cold and blowy. A dusting of snow. It's still on the roads. It's picturesque but it's not debilitating. Plus, I'm ODing on Christmas music in my travels, listening to our local lite station that plays it 24/7 starting the day after Thanksgiving.
Anyway, I was driving to the store for my last-last-lastly-LAST minute food stuff for Christmas Eve dinner at my house tomorrow. And I was thinking about how I have always loved Christmas and that it has a specific feel to me. So here are a few things from my childhood that I remember vividly. You're welcome.
*The year I had about a thimble full of wine and fell up the steps. I was about twelve. It was all downhill from there.
*The year Santa set off I TOOK A LICKIN' FROM A CHICKEN in the attic. I was still awake. I was faking it.
*The year Santa brought me a Barbie outfit for my Barbie because my 'best friend' had stolen the exact same outfit when she came to play.
*The year I got clogs and instantly proceeded to fall down in the street trying to run across and show my friend. And then the scariest man in the whole neighborhood found me and carried me home. I was traumatized for...well, I am still traumatized.
*My mother always made Baklava. If you don't know what this is, it is paper thin sheets of phyllo dough and honey and walnuts and it is an act of God that you can even get these ingredients to adhere together, let alone have them make a delicate, crispy perfect dessert. She always had the help of a nice rum and Coke and some smokes. (My mom smoked back in the day but hasn't for about 12 years, go ma!). I mention the rum and Coke because we all need some spirits during the holidays, but if it had been me (as I have worked with phyllo dough) I'd have been drinking the Bacardi straight from the bottle with a crazy straw. Fuck the Coke.
*The year my dad decided to stain the entertainment center on Xmas Eve and the fumes were damn near overwhelming and we were all half high from fumes and the windows were open and it was freezing and my mother was yelling about the goddamn sugar cookies(!!!!)
*Same year: my dad asking my one hundred pound (soaking wet with a brick in each hand), five foot five boyfriend to help him move the ginormous entertainment center. Christ. It would have been more productive to ask me. Or the wiener dog.
*The year I thought that wearing my green and white candy cane striped footy pajamas and totally wrapping my feet in tin foil to resemble boots would be a brilliant and festive costume!
*Sitting around my aunt's table while all the adults drank and smoked and gossiped. I had huge ears and the ability to record all the gory details in my super snappy mind (that has now started to fail me. heh.)
*The year I fell down my aunt's front steps and managed to hook my foot in the railing so I ended up with my skirt around my neck doing a rather impressive yet excruciating split. (In her defense she had yelled, careful! the steps are icy! and I yelled No! They're just wet-aaaaaaaaaaah!)
*The year I asked for one of these (<~~~see photo insert) and sprained my groin.
*The year my grandmother gave me and my sister matching purses that looked like macrame plant hangers. We still begin opening her gifts with: I hope it's not a purse...
*And just a few years ago, watching A Christmas Story, no lie, THREE times before the kids finally fell asleep.
These are just a few of the gems. I have always been blessed with fab Christmases that I hope I'm passing down to my kids. Fingers crossed.
I also remember that my mother ALWAYS made Christmas super and festive no matter how stressed she was, what doofy boyfriend I had that year, or what kind of hoopla was going on . She was brilliant, always giving me a book on Christmas Eve so that a) I got a gift and b) I was occupied unless she needed me. I never minded helping because I loved Christmas. One of my favorite things to help with was wrapping. I remember many years of wrapping in front of the TV or radio while she did whatever (Baklava!) in the kitchen. I had a good run of Bloom County books for several years. I still have them. Opus and I have had some very merry Christmas Eves together. I still heart Opus.
So if you want and have the time, take a moment to share a memory with me. Yes, it's crazy and stressful and all that jazz, but it sure is fun too. And it can be a huge part of the fabric of memories we all have as we grown and age and start families of our own. (Hallmark, call me, I could write cards ;) )