Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Merry Christmas

It's entirely too early to be thinking about this, but the price of airline travel has forced my family to start talking about Christmas. In September.


Usually, Ky and I fly in from our respective schools and do Christmas Eve at my mom's and Christmas Day at my dad's. It's a casual affair - we're not a religious family and only slightly interested in ceremony. We usually end up trimming a tree, we stuff stockings that we may not hang, we exchange presents geared much more to necessity than luxury. Nothing spectacular. We may dress up to go to my dad's, but only because mom insists each year that she doesn't have any pictures of us, and with a photographer for a father, for chrissake. It's pretty laid back. We like it that way.

Which makes it a little surprising that, when I think about Christmas this year, I get shaky. Now, here, sitting at work in September, thinking about a holiday that I'm at best indifferent to and at worst annoyed by (I challenge you to come up with a setting more nauseating than a Christmastime mall), I want to cry. The reasons are obvious, I guess. In LA, we stay with my mom in her two bedroom condo and having no one to fight with over the second bedroom, no one to fight with over the car, no one to gossip with about my parents, no one to drive with to my dad's Christmas Day is more lonely a feeling than I knew existed.

So I told my parents this, and they agreed that it sounded horrible, and now they're going to fly back east so we can all do Christmas in New York. My dad's wife Leann has kids and grandkids here. My mom has friends here. It makes sense. Crisis averted.

But I'm still a bit worried. New York is not entirely Kyle-free. He visited me here. He was supposed to come again this past summer. Christmas may come and I may find myself walking past the shell of CBGB's, remembering how I promised to take him there and never did. Christmas may come and I may find myself outside of Amsterdam Cafe, remembering how patiently he read at the bar, drinking every flavor of milkshake we had and waiting for my shift to end. Christmas may come and I may find myself hurrying through the streets and remembering how slow he walked, even with those legs of his, his LA pace absolutely inappropriate for Broadway. New York has its own dangers.

So mom, dad, Leann, I propose that next year, we go even further. Let's do Christmas in Tahiti or Tuscany. Let's do the strangest Christmas we can think of. Let's abandon stockings and Evergreens and expensive wrapping paper and go someplace where they boil sheep heads to celebrate Christ's birth. Or make candy with cardamon. Or dance for three days in feathers and cow parts. Let's have our Christmas in exile and when we find ourselves tight-lipped and staring and very, very tired it will just look like homesickness. Or jet lag. And everyone will understand.

1 comment:

cynthia said...

Yes oh yes. But maybe you didn't get or read my email suggesting Jamaica or the Yucatan for this year?

And as for sheep's head, unfortunately Devon finally (after Ky died) threw out the frozen boar head that Kyle left in my freezer when I gave her the old fridge (custody of the head was part of the deal). Or maybe you never heard about Kyle and his friends roasting a boar in their tiny SF backyard patch of grass. That's a story to cheer up Xmas for sure, or at least a story for my blog. Devon, of course, is forgiven.