Wednesday, December 17, 2008


We are not ready for Christmas. Most years, we find ourselves late preparing for the Holidays and after an initial burst of early Holiday shopping, then racing around at the last minute to take care of Uncle Louie and all those cousins and nephews and nieces. Maybe it is the "credit crisis" or maybe its just an off year for us. But where we often have two or three trees and lots of outside lights, we have nothing set up today. Nor have we purchased even one present.
Neither of us is turning into the Grinch or purposely being Scrooge like. But something isn't clicking this year. We both have been busy with work. Perhaps busy is an understatement. And while we aren't going under by any means, things are a little tighter than in past years. We will set up a tree this year, and I will probably hang a wreath later today on the front door. But I don't see a lot of mall or online purchases this year. I don't think either of us is feeling terribly festive with regard to giving gifts to family that really isn't all that nice the rest of the year. And perhaps that is the real root of this "funk" that we are in.
I know that come next week, we will be celebrating the Holidays. We will visit family. We will purchase and consume large amounts of champagne and other types of alcohol while listening to our incredibly and unjustifiably large collection of Christmas music. We will listen to Bing, Nat, Frank and Dino and to which we will listen to Bruce, Jimmy and all sorts of new, recently new and really esoteric Christmas music from the Cajun and Surf genres. I especially am fond of radio recordings of Christmas shows from the 1940s. And of course there is the Lounge genre of the late 1950s and early 1960s. On some level, I feel at one with passed Grandparents and other dead relatives. Yes, dead relatives. That is cold, but it is what it is. And I do feel connected with them at this time of year. From hanging one or two of their ornaments from many of the passed on one of the trees to thinking about and toasting their memories. And for me, Christmas is about memories, both reliving and enjoying them and making new ones.

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