Saturday, December 26, 2009

Christmas 2009

Well, it's been here and gone. The day went by quickly enough. It was a weird year for me for this holiday. For one, my mother was in Myrtle Beach. This is the second time she's done this and I hope that either she'll stay home for Christmas or she'll make it tradition to be down there for the holiday because it's tiring.

What do I mean? For the last forty years I have been living someone else's traditions. I've kind of added my own, like when I had a child I had to take her to my parent's house as well as her paternal grandparents, but it was always the same as in terms of dinner. We all met up at my parent's house for gifts and dinner around two in the afternoon and finish out the day there.

After my dad died we made sure that it didn't change at all so that mom still had that tradition she could rely on and, to be fair, so did we. She took off for Myrtle Beach a couple years ago for Christmas and I figured I would be ok, and I did survive it, but it was different. I was different. I felt lost. What was I supposed to do? Should I make a dinner? Do we invite my brother and sister to my house? Is the oldest child supposed to take over? What does one do when a parent is not there for the holidays? My sister ended up inviting us over to her house for dinner that year and we enjoyed a wonderful meal. The next year mom stayed home and I didn't have to worry about it.

But this year...well, I'm realizing that this may be a new tradition for her, and I hope it is. I don't want her to stick around here for me. Yet again, I was totally lost. I was arguing with my grown daughter, baking like crazy, worrying about money, and trying to figure out if I would see my child on Christmas day, and did I really want to? We were invited to dinner at a friend's house for Christmas Eve and that worked out very well. The food was great and we weren't the only invited guests so I didn't have to make witty conversation but could chime in if I had the notion. To say the least I was very pleased with the evening and I hoped the hosts realized it. I had much trepidation about this event.

On Christmas morning I woke up with a headache that could drop a horse. It was 3am and I was in pain. I broke out the big guns and took the powerful drug my doctor has recommended for migraines and went back to bed. I woke up at 7:30am feeling much better than I did earlier but not out of the woods yet. My boyfriend and I went downstairs, lit the tree and opened gifts. I was kind of worried about what I got him because I wasn't sure about the gifts. I put a lot of thought into them, but I knew he really wanted ski gloves and I couldn't spend that much money on something I wasn't really sure of. He says he loves his gifts though, so I think I did ok. We've been together almost five years. I should know him by now.

And he knows me. He got me scrapbooking things that I will definitely use! And chocolate and books! He knows me. And yet he still stays with me. So back to tradition...

I started something new this year- breakfast. We never have breakfast together. He usually has a bowl of cereal and toast but I avoid that. I've been wanting french toast for awhile and we just got maple syrup, not the store bought kind but homemade! So this year after we opened our gifts I announced I was going to make french toast and sausages. It was the best Christmas breakfast I've had in a long time.

The rest of the day was spent watching tv and puttering around. I couldn't shake the migraine and my child was stressing me out about getting her gift, and again I felt lost.

Here's the kicker- do I start planning new afternoon traditions now for next year? I don't know if my mom will be here or in Myrtle Beach. I know my brother and sister will probably be away again. I think last year was THE LAST YEAR of our celebrating Christmas as a nuclear family. I need to chart a new course. Winging it doesn't seem to work for me, it just makes me worry.

So I'm going to let the planning begin. I will search new traditions and see where my, and my boyfriend's, tastes lie and then plan for them. It will be an adventure, and I'm going to try and make my life an adventure this year. We'll see and you'll read. Try this together. See where we end up.

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