I already knew that this was going to be a weird holiday season for me, for reasons big and small. It'll be my first Christmas since all the seismic personal changes that happened to me in 2009. As a result, I'm not looking forward to my usual holiday traditions because I know they'll just serve as reminders of what I'm missing in my life these days (the same thing that happened during my annual fortnight at the beach this summer). But what's a girl to do?
So, feeling half holiday and half hopeless, I went to get my Christmas tree today. Last year I discovered a tree lot on Chamberlayne Avenue with a good selection and decent prices, so I went back this year. Actually, just being surrounded by all those trees and inhaling that wonderful pine and fir scent lifted my holiday spirits some. A couple of the guys working the lot offered to assist me, but they were both smokers carrying a tobacco cloud around themselves and that didn't seem too appealing, so I declined. If they were smart, they'd use the profits from tree sales to invest in some nicotine patches; cigarettes and rapidly drying out trees don't seem like the best combination.
The good news is I found a well-shaped White Pine that is already perfuming my apartment; now I just need to decorate it before I have friends over next week. Another plus is that since recovering from pneumonia, I no longer concern myself with what I eat or how much I drink, so overindulging at holiday parties and drinking too much dark rum-soaked eggnog will be new pleasures for me. And fortunately I was never big into the gift thing, so I won't feel any loss there.
No, what I'll most likely feel this holiday season is all the same emotions I've been dealing with most of this year, except with a pine scent, a festive soundtrack and more to drink. Maybe this is why some people hate the holidays. But not me; I'm going to do my best to have a holly, jolly Christmas. Just don't scratch my holiday surface too deeply or you might discover the truth.