Saturday, December 23, 2006

Ho. Ho. Ho.

I'm not really in much of a Christmas mood this year. I got back from Arkansas last night, and spent the time — until the wee hours — enjoying Alana's company. She mentioned that she wasn't in much of a Christmas spirit either, but at least she got to put up some decorations and see the presents on the exercise bike (the fact that the bike is used to support presents right now speaks volumes as to how much I've let me exercising slide). In spite of the public decorations in northeast Arkansas, it didn't feel much like Christmas to me. No family. No friends. No snow.

Okay, in recent years it hasn't snowed much on Christmas in Southern Ontario either, but only once did the temperatures approach freezing here in the Deep South in the last couple of weeks. We were out today wearing t-shirts. I remember late Decembers where I would have died of hypothermia doing what we did today in the clothes we were wearing. Literally. It's important to remember, as a Canadian, that there are long spans of time when you can die simply from going outside for sometimes short periods of time improperly attired. (Yet, I remember very, very few days as a child when it was too cold for me to go outside. I have a very clear memory from high school or my last year in senior public — junior high, down here — walking to a friend's place and then the library, a distance of several miles, in temperatures that must have been around zero in the old scale.)

Santa is arriving here tonight. Logan was at Alana's ex's place this weekend. As per tradition each year we alternate getting Logan for Christmas day. This is our "off year", so we have him on Christmas Eve instead. He then goes off to their place for Christmas. Therefore, Santa comes here tonight to leave him is presents. It's likely that this will be the last year Logan has any kind of belief in Santa Claus.

For some reason this Christmas custody arrangement is bugging me this year. It never has before. It didn't a couple of years ago, when we pickced Logan up from them on the night of December 22 and he had the Norwalk virus. I took care of him the next day while Alana worked, and came down with Norwalk myself Christmas Eve morning. I was violently ill from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m., slipping in and out of fever dreams most of the day. Weirdly enough, the next day felt more Christmasy than this year feels. For some reason this year it just doesn't feel quite right having our Christmas a day early. I don't know why.

Daniel is with us this year. Daniel is Alana's adopted son. He has... issues. He was legally emancipated last spring. We weren't sure he was even going to be around this year, but here he is! This is the first time he's stayed here since at least March. We had bought him a few things, but nothing major. We ran out today and got him stuff for his new apartment. Even with this last spate of Christmas buying, it's not feeling like Christmas.

Maybe part of it is not going out to get Alana a Christmas gift. We're poor this year, so we decided not to get each other gifts from one another. Instead, we each bought something from Logan to each other. I had a couple of gift ideas for her; I'll just sock those ideas away for her birthday.

I think my lack of Christmas spirit is probably due to the trip to Arkansas stressing me out so much (not the trip itself, but what happened when I got there). I'm completely out of sync with my usual holiday pattern that I'm only registering tomorrow as Christmas at an intellectual level. And, of course, it's only our "observed" Christmas.

I'm sure I'll feel better tomorrow. Gifts will be opened in the morning, and then we're going to drive down to Pineville to see Alana's family.

For now, Christmas is a humbug.


Michael Skeet said...

I am fighting a cold, my third in the last six weeks. A pox on "presentism," the annoying habit some people have of coming into work when they're sick. I know exactly how I got this cold, and to whom to attach the blame.

Further, the weakness and coughing are preventing me from doing my traditional last-minute shopping. And Lorna is having to do most of the cooking this season.

So yeah, I know where you're coming from this season. Here's a Canadian greeting: Have as Merry a Christmas as possible under the circumstances.

Allan Goodall said...

A pox on "presentism," the annoying habit some people have of coming into work when they're sick.

Was this person sick for a couple of days before then? I ask because down here everyone is pretty anal about getting doctors notes if someone has been away for three days. Or worse, they will sometimes insist on going on FMLA, a federal leave program with a ton of paperwork. So, instead of staying at home when ill, people will drag themselves in to work on the employer's insistance.

So yeah, I know where you're coming from this season. Here's a Canadian greeting: Have as Merry a Christmas as possible under the circumstances.

Thank you! We did!