Well, it certainly has provided a lot of imagery with which I unfortunately compared my family (that would be Thanksgiving). My mother did a pretty good job of making things warm and making people feel welcome, which was less the case with my father and stepmother. Coordinating such a big meal made my stepmother crazy, so they started getting it catered, and finally settled on eating in a restaurant. They live way out in the 'burbs so we generally get a lift with my stepmother's sister and her roommate, who are nuns. They're fairly cool and liberal nuns; we just have to remember to watch the cursing.
This year, my brother, sister-in-law, and perfect-nephew-Walter are making the trip from Rhode Island. Of course, once I got over the many, many bones I had to pick with my father, my brother found a brand-new one, a recovered memory that I don't share. So I'm enjoying my time in the sun as the Good Kid, which doesn't happen too often. My brother will also be a good kid tomorrow, for bringing Walter.
So you may have noticed that I have both orthodox Jews and Catholics in my extended family. I, however, am a Jew. That's how I was raised. I was always told: No, we can't have a Christmas tree, we're Jewish.
And that pretty much wraps it up: Christmas is a Christian holiday, not an American one, and please do not assume that I am going to celebrate it. (And by the way, why do Jews need to use personal or vacation days to take off the holiest days of their year, and Christians always just get it off?) Christmas trees are very nice, but they're not my traditions. (I like a menorah, but it's tough with cats.)
People feel sorry for me if I have nothing to do on Christmas.
And of course, this is before we get to the heavy commercialization and marketing and "black Friday doorbusters." I tried to do Christmas for a handful of years, with my father and his wife and sister-in-law, and it seemed to be so much about the gifts, and such a huge expense to boot.
Don't like Christmas music. Don't like that Bob Dylan did a Christmas album, don't like that at all, but I am a rare 51-year-old Dylan hater. If I *have* to listen to Christmas music, I'll take Nat King Cole and Mel Torme.
Did I complain about the sweets yet? I am no longer working in an office, but the last time I worked in one, this time of year was a FUCKING BITCH to be a diabetic.
My ugly counter seems to have stopped working. Where the hell can I get a counter for this blog?