Dec 25, 2008 by

Hardly seems like Christmas when you plan to grill most of your dinner outside. I never dream of white Christmases anyway.

In The Family Bitch, thoguh we have no religious beliefs, we have a Christmas tree and presents and a vegan Christmas dinner and peace and joy sans any of my relatives. [I’ve blocked out enough holiday memories and need no more.] There were things I liked about Roman Catholic Christmas, like Advent calendars. I liked the ritualized and deliberate marking of time passing. I can’t remember any other impressions or feelings anymore, not after the Advent calendar scenes in Bad Santa. [One of many favorite moments in Bad Santa–“Fuck me, Santa, fuck me, Santa, fuck me, Santa.”] And I can’t help still liking many Christmas songs—The Little Drummer Boy, especially in sweet boy choir voices, Silent Night, What Child Is This, and others still send a minor chill up the backs of my arms. The Girl and I, though, end up having long conversations in the car about these songs and the Christ story, which is always amazing to her since she hasn’t been indoctrinated or force-fed. The big innovation this year for The Girl, now nearing puberty, was buying gifts for others in our small family. It’s the first year she’s been old enough to really care about giving and had enough money to not borrow—as she said, it’s crazy to borrow money from someone to buy that person a present. So I took her shopping this year, letting her choose all the gifts, except for a little advice on her father’s gifts (he got 3 while the others got 2), from her Post-It note list, while I wandered and finished what little shopping I do. Since she was only buying presents for 3 people and I am one of the three people, I knew right way which gifts were mine even though we never discussed it openly—when we talked about the gifts or her list, we mentioned her father, her grandmother…and then just called the other gifts The Other Presents, if we called them anything at all. She showed them to me in the store and said, Aren’t these pretty? Isn’t that a nice __? She wasn’t asking for approval or my input—she had already decided that’s what she would give. When it came time to wrap, and I love to wrap a present, I helped her, and again there were presents for her father, presents for her grandmother and The Other Presents. I helped her wrap one of my gifts and we never discussed who it belonged to though only an idiot couldn’t tell. And this morning, I happily opened my presents and gave her a big smile. She gave others their presents before tearing into hers. And made her grandmother very, very happy.

Merry Xmas. Hope for peace. Experience some joy.

[The Spot will return in the new year. Things should move quickly after the holidays. At least, I hope they do.]

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