Saturday, December 18, 2010

Missing: 1 Festive Spirit

This is actually a town in the U.P. Their post office gets hammered every December.

Wow, Christmas is a week from tomorrow.  I've barely done any shopping yet, and most of my gifts still have to journey UPS-style across the tundra to Minnesota.  Tomorrow I am going to rise with the sun and drag my poor husband out to the stores to suffer through the results of my procrastination along with me.  Sorry, sweetie.

I grew up in Michigan, where Christmas was always preceded by snow and bitter cold, a fresh-cut pine tree, and my mom's seasonal goodies like brown sugar tartlets and caramel corn.  After Michigan, I spent a few years in Munich, with its fantastic annual Christkindlmarkt in Marienplatz and Gl├╝hwein sellers in the English Garden.  There was one mildly stressful Christmas in Istanbul after that, which is a story in itself, and then my future husband and I moved to California in 2001.

I suppose that people who've lived their entire lives in southern California have no trouble getting into the holiday spirit in 60-degree weather, but without the props from my youth, I generally have a hard time.  We're spending the holidays at our home this year, so without a family gathering in the Northland to look forward to, Christmas feels like nothing but a high-pressure commercial binge.  

Once the shopping pain is past, there are some things I'm looking forward to:  spending some stress-free time with my husband, gobbling up matinees of all the Oscar bait films, and hopefully getting a little free time to work more on those revisions.  There's an SNI* winking at me from a corner of my brain, maybe I'll give her a minute or two as well.  These are the happy thoughts I'll be clinging to tomorrow while fighting the teeming hordes.

I wish everyone the best in this final pre-holiday crunch time.  Batten the hatches and gird your loins, or whatever it is they say.  Let's all make it to the new year with our sanity intact.

*Shiny New Idea, dangerous predator of the revision-addled mind

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