The Christmas Spirit arrived sort of late for me this year.
So, yeah, I haven’t put up any decorations or anything. Why? Well, I just wasn’t feeling it this year. I mean, I was all alone and I’m pretty much officially middle-aged now and, damn it all, I don’t even have any kids who are all mad at me because I’m not with their mother any more, or anything. All of which translates to me feeling sorry for myself, right? And, frankly, that just doesn’t make for a great holiday spirit. Also? It makes me a miserable bastard to be around. Yeah, I know it and I own it. It is, as they say, what it is.
So, what changed? Hell if I know. Monday was the Winter Solstice. For those of you who don’t know, that means it was the shortest day of the year. It had the fewest hours of daylight of any day of the year and was celebrated by the Pagans. But, what they celebrated was the return of light to the world, because every day after the Winter Solstice was longer, filled with increasingly more light.
Maybe that’s what it was. The increase of light in my heart.
I’m not sure what it is, really, but it is a change, even though I didn’t put up decorations. I did go and do some last minute Christmas shopping yesterday, though.
I started out looking for a few simple things.
For one, I planned to hit Half-Price Books and get couple cheap, “token” gifts, so there’s something to unwrap, and a gift certificate for two-and-a-half of my favorite readers. And, I’m sure the little half will grow up into a full-fledged reader. The gift certificate is the real gift, though, I’d hoped to get a list of books from each of them to facilitate a low-pressure “to-read” stack for my favorite newest parents.
The next was a combo stop, a “two for one”. Also at a bookstore, but this was a full-price shop to get a couple of Moleskines; a journal and a sketchbook, for two different people. Also, since I was actually in a Barnes and Noble who had a music section, I thought I’d get the latest Dolly Parton CD and Snoop Dogg’s latest, too. And, yes, they were both for the same person. Unfortunately, for some reason, Barnes and Noble stopped carrying Snoop Dogg, which meant another stop somewhere.
Okay, so right now, you maybe asking yourself why in God’s name I’d be buying Dolly Parton and Snoop Dogg for the same person I’d be getting a journal for and, honestly, you’d be right to ask those questions. She’s a little unusual, but in a good way. She doesn’t fit a standard mold by any means, but she’s been having a sort of rough go of it lately. Part of that included getting ripped off a couple of weeks ago. And the weasels stole pretty much everything electronic or music related and that means that her entire, unusually diverse, music collection got lifted, too. So, I decided to play Santa Claus and, hopefully, repair a little bit of the damage the world did to her this year before it’s too late.
Hell, it’s complicated.
So, the Moleskine sketchbook needed something more, namely, some colored pencils. See, my Santa Claus duties are limited only by my meager budget! So, from the bookstores I was off to Hobby Lobby to hunt up a set of colored pencils. This person has stiffled their art instincts. That almost physically hurts me to think of someone else cutting themselves off from their more creative urges because life circustances make it easier to set that down that face that particular demon. So, for that one, the super nice sketchbook and a set of pencils and those big, rectangular acrylic crayons all in a pretty nice tin. I put that all together with a note beneath the wrapping paper telling her to “MAKE TIME for art”. I hope she takes the hint.
But, if you were paying attention, I had more things to get.
So, amidst the craziness that passes for last-minute Christmas shopping, I decided to brave the wilds of Target to get that Snoop Dogg CD. But, it wasn’t as bad as I would have thought. Of course, it probably helped that I was on a mission and just had the one thing to get, but it was pretty much in, right to the music department for the last copy of “Malice In Wonderland”, then right back out again.
Really, Target wasn’t the worst of it. That, surprisingly enough to me, was Barnes and Noble. Of course, I cheated there by checking out at the Music counter and bypassing the huge line up front. Besides, I’m hoping that surprise of getting these very contradictory things from me, because, you know, I’d listened to what she was saying, will make the small effort of the extra trip worthwhile. I mean, that is the point right?
When I was a kid, I was told that it wasn’t the gift so much but the giving and the idea. Having something that was meaningful mattered more than what it really was. But, this season in particular, that the whole commercialism aspect of this holiday really got to me. I don’t know, it just seemed so bad this year. Maybe it’s that I find myself struggling with my spirituality that I find the crass commercialism even more, uh, crass. So, no one was more surprised than I to find msyelf suddenly motivated to spread a little joy. Joy that extended all the way to a year’s worth of Flickr Professional for yet another friend, incidentally.
I hope it lasts until Christmas Day, at least.
Well, while you wait to see just how jaded I really am, you can track Santa on NORAD and hope that he brings you something good. Oh, and they added a new feature this year! Now, you can get updates to your cellphone for just where Santa is! How cool is that?