***Most Americans reading the title of this post are saying to themselves, "Whuh?" Yeah, it's one of those weird Brit holidays, like Guy Fawkes Day. (Sorry, Issy, but you know it's true.) ... ;-)
On this day-after-Christmas, I won't sugar-coat the status of my holidays. They usually suck, to a certain extent, and this year was no different. There are little glimmers of light amidst lots and lots of darkness -- appropriate for winter solstice, I suppose. Suffice it to say that being single around the holidays is a special kind of hell.
I often spend much of Christmas Eve and Christmas Day alone, since the ginormous extended family-palooza is held on a different day. This year's event isn't until tomorrow, so, today, for all intents and purposes, is my Christmas Eve, meaning, shopping, cooking and wrapping 'til the wee hours. While everyone else is relaxing and cleaning up after yesterday's orgy, I'm just getting geared up for tomorrow's.
I've already hit Little Mexico (WalMart) and Food Lion today, but still have lots & lots to do and a short time in which to do it, and I'm making sound use of my time by writing this blog post. I'm nothing, if not a procrastinator. In fact, I'm the world's greatest procrastinator. So great, in fact, that I'm thinking of founding a local chapter of Procrastinators Anonymous, and perhaps I'll get to that tomorrow.... ;-)
But I digress. Where was I? Oh yes, -- whining about the holidays. I'm guessing everyone has a list of things they dread about the holidays: deadline stress, greed, commercialism, shopping malls, cooking, wrapping, over-spending, unattainable expectations, dealing with oddball relatives, traffic, travel, etc. At the top of my particular list is the loneliness that hides all year long but knocks on my door on December 24th and doesn't leave until January 2nd. On Christmas Eve & Day, I fight it by partaking in what has become my own personal Christmas tradition: watching lots of choral concerts on PBS, followed by midnight mass with the Pope. (It's amazing how much high school Latin I still remember.) For me, it's not Christmas until I watch (and sing along with) the St. Olaf and Mormon Tabernacle choirs. Singing that classical music really helps bring the real meaning of the day home to me. I used to be an avid chorister myself, until time and allergies ravaged what little voice I ever had. It breaks my heart that I can't seem to hit the highest of the First Soprano high notes anymore. My audience of two felines doesn't seem to mind, though.
And so, with my to-do list looming large in front of me, I suppose I'll cut my whining short, count my many blessings, stop procrastinating and start getting prepared for tomorrow.