Hello, again. Hang on a moment while I refill my glass, Internet.
I have a tradition of getting ridiculously trashed and listening to sentimental Christmas songs. I attempted to do that last night, but the signature sense of catharsis was missing. You see, this year, I was doing it by myself.
Typically, we’ll be gathered around the Wireless – well, Youtube, really, but that’s what I call it – and we’ll be listening to Judy Garland’s Have yourself a merry little Christmas, and then my cousin will make a comment about how much Grandma loved that song, my Uncle will chime in with his favourite memory, and in a twinkling, my mother’s gone and put on the dvd-photo-slideshow thing that we had made for her funeral, and we’re all sobbing. As an example. Without my few remaining living relatives gathered ’round, it wasn’t at all the same. I got a little sappy, I missed my ex-husband a bit, and harassed him on Facebook (he’s still my best friend, so it’s all right; he just ended up liking girls better), but I didn’t get the signature absolution that comes from shared grief.
I should note that typically we hold this as a separate occasion than the family Christmas party.
I’m a bit trepidatious about going to the family function. Last year, my uncle nearly punched me, a cousin of mine came out as transgendered recently (mtf, if you’re wondering, and of course I absolutely support her; I’m more concerned about some of our homo- and transphobic relations), and on and on. On Christmas Eve last year, my mother’s then boyfriend – an unscrupulous drug dealer who sold, on occasion, to underaged kids – lit up a joint at the family table. I don’t mind weed, beyond not caring for it, but I do think that one should ask before lighting up in someone else’s home.
I guess the point I’m trying to drive in, here, is that one should embrace the bad times, as they make the good times so much sweeter, and that absolution is to be had in shared grief. Further, I can use all the absolution I can get.
Happy Holidays, everyone. No matter what, or if, you celebrate.