Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Happy Boxing Day

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.


Nikki said...

I hope your Christmas isn't all bad. I do know how you feel about the whole single/holiday thing.

If it helps to make your holiday any better, at least no one died. My step-grandmother passed away this morning. It's OK though, she was very old and is in a MUCH better place now.

Krista said...

Mary, you know you have your friends and family around for you every day of the year! You are actually never alone. Have fun with your celebrations tomorrow.

LaurieM said...

Being married with with two children, I have no insights into your situation. But I read your story with sympathy and think you are to be admired for finding a way to cope.

I wish you all the best.

Beth said...

::raises drink in a toast:: From one singleton to another. Even though I have the kids to keep me MORE THAN busy, I'm totally with you on the being-single-at-the-holidays-thing. Yes, it sucks.

If you can or want, join us at knitting group Wednesday night - would love to see ya!

Bess said...

Sending you hugs hugs hugs sweetie. I so remember some periods of utter bleak lonliness in my past and even ones when I was around people - that was the creepiest.

So. May next year be different! Much love to you.

Suzanne said...

Little Mexico! I know what you mean (I do almost all of my grocery shopping at W-mart and we share the same one!) The stepfords are much ruder than everyone else (you know, selfish spoiled suburban women who will run you over to grab the small jar of mayo, same way they run you over with their SUV for a parking space) so shopping there is not as bad as it sounds. Is Stepford Free!

rho said...

Hope you are having a ball today at the ginormous extended family-palooza.

Gingersnaps with Tea... said...

Honestly Mary, I understand where you are coming from, being alone is hard and there is no getting around that. It's even harder during the holidays. But it's obvious in your posts that you have lots of people who love you. I, like so many, have my own reasons for dreading the holidays. Hope you are having a better day… surrounded by family.

Robin said...

Hang in there, Mary!! January 2nd is just around the corner. Sending you lots of happy thoughts!

Bess said...

Hey darlin'. I've been missing your voice. Hope you'll be back soon.

Robin said...

Hey Mary...Where are you? Are you okay?