Everyone was out even though it was raining. The temperature had warmed up and wet roads looked like the beginning of something, the first lap of a race. I got my coffee from Caribou like I always do then went grocery shopping. The lady in check out was flustered, but said she’d had a nice Thanksgiving.
The weekend’s been Christmas shopping. Picking around in crowded stores, not finding what I wanted, searching more online. I like the dynamism of the holidays, the ‘I’ve-got-to-get-out-in-the-world’ sort of feel. I like the kind of celebration that shows we’re all dead-broke and dead-tired but obligating ourselves to do good for our loved ones anyway. It doesn’t matter if your gift’s a hit as long as you’re the one giving it. It doesn’t matter if next year is going to drain a bit more spirit out of you because you’ll get it all back giving something special away.
At a different store, a man with a big dog walked in and the cashier told me he’s the owner. She seemed bothered by him, on edge, and the dog noticed because it sniffed her and wagged its tongue and tail. That was his christmas present, a big wet nose, a bit of kindness when someone needed it.
Coffee: Folger’sBreakfast Blend, Brewed by my Father; My Dad drinks coffee like it’s been prescribed to him; he brews it weak, two scoops for a 12 cup pot; I must have had five full glasses of the stuff; by pot two, he made it stronger, just for me; there’s no coffee that’s as good as the coffee your father makes.
My parents have this dog that’s shaped like a sausage that my mother wraps presents for every year. We toss them down the hall and she goes running. In half an hour, the house is littered with wrapping paper.
That’s Christmas to me: something full of energy that you expect to follow a toss.
Merry Christmas. Or Merry Winter. Whether it’s with friends, family, or at home alone with a good book, I hope you got to have fun unwrapping your plans for the day. Maybe you even surprised yourself a little. And if it’s messy – if there’s paper everywhere, or if the day tore you up in it’s teeth despite the safe veneer we all expect of the holidays – then don’t worry about picking it up right now. Catch your breath. Do whatever you have to to take care of yourself.
Not every person or every family can find joy. The world’s not fair. But everyone can look inside themselves and see something worth opening. Every time you take a breath you’re proving something valuable. And I’m glad I live in a world full of so many curious persons full of curious things.
Thank you. Happy holidays.
Novel Count: 5,924
Currently Reading: Nothing! Will pick a new book after the holidays.