This may be the very first Christmas ever that I spent the day in near constant motion.
And by motion I mean cleaning, de-cluttering, organizing.
Normally, I’d use the fact that it’s Christmas as an excuse to move as little as possible while drinking as much coffee and eating as much chocolate as possible. Isn’t that what Christmas is all about? Lying about in one’s pajamas reading or watching movies or playing with/looking at one’s loot while indulging in all manner of not-good-for-you things?
Never mind that it’s been nearly 20 years since I had any actual loot to speak of - with the exception of that one Christmas I spent in Seattle in 2007. I don’t generally buy Christmas gifts for pretty much anyone. I don’t encourage people to buy Christmas gifts for me. I make donations every year to whatever charities resonate and that’s where the money for presents people don’t need goes. I typically spend the day alone - except for a Lex who doesn’t celebrate hiding out in the basement - and do whatever I want and eat whatever I want (usually Cheetos and boxed wine thankyouverymuch) and, aside from calling my mom and dad to wish them a Merry Christmas, I don’t generally speak to anyone on this day.
I’m not a Scrooge.
Not by a long shot.
I actually love Christmas.
I love the lights, the smells, the songs.
I even have a few decorations I usually put up (last year, I didn’t take them down until April *laughing*).
It’s just been a long time since I’ve celebrated the holidays in the traditional sense...the planning, the shopping, the baking, the family.
This year though was, in a nutshell, weird and awful and heart wrenching and frustrating.
The weeks and months leading up to Christmas were a blur. Halloween apparently happened and Thanksgiving too. But both those holidays were spent at rehab with my dad and I didn’t have any time to think about anything else except all my growing responsibilities as an unwilling parent to him while trying to stay employed.
There wasn’t any time to think about home or Lex or Acr0 or me.
I’m totally not whining, by the way. It is what it is and I’ve done the best I could even when I sincerely didn’t want to anymore. I even went so far as to send an email of resignation to my family one night.
Knowing full well this was one job I didn’t have the luxury of quitting.
So I didn’t quit.
I pushed through until my brother and his family stepped up and in, providing Dad a place to go when he didn’t have anywhere left.
The final days leading up to Christmas then were spent taking care of the business of essentially an eviction, making arrangements to haul all of his stuff out of his apartment and into storage.
That meant there really wasn’t time to think about Christmas...or decorations...or Band Aid...or Cheetos and chocolate.
Instead, I woke up yesterday morning with really only one plan.
Getting my shit and my house in order.
Because I’ll be damned if I start a brand new shiny year with no catastrophes in it yet buried under a dozen loads of laundry, a layer of dust an inch thick, and mounds of papers - Dad’s and my own - lying about just waiting for an opportunity to mock me over my lack of willpower when it comes to filing.
So that’s what I did.
I scrubbed, laundered, sorted, organized, FILED, and just generally kicked up so much dust I went to bed sneezing.
Because if there is one thing I’ve learned through all of this?
Life is short.
Life is messy.
Clean it up now.
Before someone else is forced to clean it up for you.
Next year I’m decking my halls within an inch of their lives. Hell! I think I’ll even buy a tree...or, yannow, at the very least, a fresh pine wreath. Because evergreen smells so damn good! I’m blasting carols - especially Band Aid - from Thanksgiving through December 25 as often as Lex will let me (which, OK fine, let’s face it, will be once before he threatens me with bodily harm). I’m going to bake. I’m buying presents and I’m going to be present. I might even send cards! (HA! Who am I kidding? Cards. L.O.L.)
And I am NOT going to spend another Christmas with my hands shoved down in my toilet(s) (plural. I’ve got 4.)
Because I love Christmas.
I love the lights. The smells. The songs.
And life is short.