I’ve got it.
So how do an agnostic and a Muslim practice Christmas? They don’t, then when it is show time, they fail miserably.
Being a practical girl looking at the impending holiday season, recognizing that we have no children to get excited for, we are leaving the country in a week to go to Morocco, which is our present to ourselves (and to his in-laws), and neither of us are invested in either the commercial or the spiritual reasons for the season (Jesus was born in September, people. If that’s the point, start celebrating in September.) there seems to be little point in stringing up lights and having a Christmas tree whacked down just to die in our living room. I haven’t made cookies, I haven’t decorated, I’ve only cleaned on the surface.
I will wake up tomorrow morning and there will be absolutely nothing special about the day, except that I get to spend it lazing about with my husband.
So I went to the grocery store this evening because we will have to eat something over the next two days. And I lost my mind. I started in the liquor store next to the Giant and bought three bottles of wine and two bottles of Rum: one for cooking and one so that HAF won’t make fun of me next time I try to feed her rum. I didn’t buy $6.99 bottles of wine either. Then I went to the grocery store. My initial plan was to get some chicken, the stuff to make a rum cake and that was about it.
But the Dannon was on sale, and I was just about out of eggs and I hate the idea of buying eggs from chickens that live in a wire cage that isn’t any broader than their body, and I needed the cake mix, but they were on sale so I got two, then I picked up one of those logs that is supposed to clean out your chimney and some Chicken because HAF and her boytoy are coming over tomorrow, and I needed veggies to go with that, so I got some acorn squash and some grapes and cheese and apples as well, plus some cider so I could have wassail and bread because we can’t have people over and have them go home hungry, now can we. And suddenly, I was in compulsive shopping mode where I needed everything for every contingency because damnit, I’ve done very little Christmas shopping this year and my house isn’t decorated and I simply must cave to the spirit of Christmas – which is spending money you can’t afford to spend on things you really don’t need – because that is what you do.
To compound it, the Husband left to help his friend pick someone up from the Airport, and since the friend and the visitors are all Moroccan, then there must also be some coffee involved. And there you have it folks. I’m killing myself with Christmas music in an empty house with more groceries than I know what to do with and its all because I thought I’d gotten smarter than to cave to the whole Christmas madness.
Maybe all of the smarmy Christmas movies are right after all… Maybe there is something in us grinchy folks that is in desperate need of rescuing and saving with the spirit of Christmas. I tell myself that I’d be doing better at it if I could wrap my head around it intellectually, but it occurs to me that this is an issue that can’t be dealt with rationally.
Note to self: in order to make sure that you don’t have to face whatever this is in you, make sure you have plans with family – at least the side of it that honors Christmas – next year. I think I might spend the rest of the night crying. No, I won’t. I’ve turned on the hot-tub, I’m going to call the husband in a minute and then I’m going to put away the groceries.
Merry Christmas. And to all a good night.