I say with alarming regularity that I don’t like Christmas, never did.
Lie detector determines that is a lie.
I loved Christmas as a child.
Trees, gifts, family, food, magic, love.
I don’t remember when I stopped believing in Santa Claus, but I had 2 younger sisters so I kept the secret, in cahoots with the adults, feeling very grown up.
When I was 13 my dad’s family came for Christmas at our house. There is video proof of what a little shit I was. It’s embarrassing to watch. But the rest of the video is filled with smiles and dancing and my Nana and Papa singing. So I just skip over the bits with me in it.
My Nana died when I was 15 and that is when a lot of light left my life, not ‘all’, but most.
That was when I started disliking Christmas.
Even the birth of my son 6 years later couldn’t bring it back. So I faked it. And in the way of my child, he knew.
He is with me now, the same age I was when I had him and we are gearing up for a pilgrimage to ocean.
We did this 2 years ago too.
There was an ice storm Christmas Eve. I rolled in from work 5 minutes after the power went out and my partner at the time (Budget George) was decidedly unprepared.
I found myself filling tubs, trimming wicks, making snow blocks for the freezer and barking instructions.
We made it 4 days, well fed with no great losses.
Then I went to the ocean with my boy. First Christmas it was ever just us and it was bliss.
Budget George had a choke chain around my neck and yanked it often.
I walked in the door upon my return and said enough. Who knew I could break chains?
2 years prior I had hit my most southernly bottom point in the pit of hell that was my life.
I was trying to reconcile with St. Anthony, which consisted of sneaking off to hotel rooms to fuck before he went back to MY farm and sisterwife. Christmas was coming and I wanted to go home. He said I could. Shock of all shocks, he fucking lied.
I spent that Christmas alone. Locked in my girlfriend’s cold, dirty apartment with her cats. Sick as fuck. Watching Buffy the Vampire Slayer crying so hard I burst a blood vessel in my eye and tore my esophagus.
I lied to my mother, pretended I was fine. Pretended Anna was home. Told her we had Chinese food and movie marathons. Truth was I did eat Chinese, but I wretched it up, violently. 5 days of crying and puking and crying some more.
It was my lowest point.
Lied to, lying, abandoned by everyone.
I climbed out of that hole into another, this time with Budget George for company.
It wasn’t the best of times nor the worst, but when you are that low, even an inch up seems like a mile.
2 years later I dumped him and started to really live.
The winds of change are blowing today literally and figuratively.
It is the warmest December on record. Also literally and figuratively. I am surrounded by people who keep me safe and warm and loved.
My bed now looks like the inside of a gypsy caravan (I just laid out my summer clothes)
Last year around now I was neck deep in fighting a long overdue court case.
I was home alone in Narnia. And I was brave and strong and tough.
I was as proud of myself as I have ever been.
I won and she never did pay me.
I fought the good fight, the defendant’s rather famous lawyer said so.
I am not thinking on last Christmas, I am thinking on the one before.
2 years ago was the ice storm. I kept 4 people safe warm and fed without power for 4 days before I went away.
Came home and changed my life.
Shed 200 pounds of deadweight and decided to see what alone felt like.
Feels like bliss and magic. Young Un’s and freedom. Sunshine and manic fits of writing.
I opened my mouth and spilled my guts onto the interwebz. Found purpose.
I’ve had a decidedly fucked up and magical 2 years.
I’m going back to the ocean to power-up and give thanks.
In 7 days begins my 42nd turn around the sun and I already know this next year coming is going to be the most amazing thing I have ever experienced. I feel it in my bones.
Sometimes we have to hit rock bottom because that’s where the fertile soil is.
Happiest of holidays everyone.