This has to be the worst Christmas I can remember. It’s not that I’m terribly unhappy or angry or that some tremendous tragedy has befallen me. I have no doubt that there are multitudes of unfortunate souls out there in the world who are having a worse day than I am, and I am grateful for all that I do have, but this has been a really disappointing holiday season.
“Why,” you may ask?
Well, to borrow a phrase from Elizabeth Barrett Browning, let me count the ways…
I’m sick (cold), my wife is sick (cold and conjunctivitis), and my son is sick (cold and conjunctivitis).
The contagiousness of my wife’s and son’s illnesses prevent us from being able to travel up to Maine to see our families for the holidays. Living in New Hampshire, it’s not that difficult to go see my parents or my in-laws fairly regularly, but my sister’s family lives in New Jersey, so missing out on seeing her, her husband, and her three kids is disappointing.
A friend of mine who was travelling up to NH from NJ to see her family got into a car accident on Christmas Eve, preventing her from being able to see me before I got out of work yesterday (the accident was minor. She and her car are fine, and she did get to NH eventually).
Another friend’s father is in the hospital with throat problems. He went into the hospital on 15th to get looked at. My friend told me he had some surgery, made it through ok, but was in pain. I got a brief text message on my cell phone from her the other day, however, that indicated things were turning for the worse. The fear is cancer.
Another pair of friends had their house catch on fire not too long ago.
Yet another pair of friends will be separating after the holidays.
My work is completely FUBAR (that’s F#*ked Up Beyond All Repair for those of you who haven’t served in the military, seen Saving Private Ryan, or read any of Richard Marcinko’s books). We’ve gone through three managers in less than a year, three assistant managers in less than a year, we were woefully understaffed for the Christmas season, and the current staff is a bunch separate individuals, not a team. The current manager is, to put it extremely kindly, less than impressive.
The weather has been anything but Christmas-like this year. Temps have mostly been in the 40’s, sometimes even the 50’s, all month. So, obviously, there’s no snow on the ground. Hate to let ya down there, Bing ol’ boy, but this one ain’t a White Christmas!
My wife and I have had tradition for nearly a decade now that we were not able to observe this year. We both take a day off together, pull the matress, blankets, and pillows off the bed and put them on the floor in the living room, and then do nothing but watch Christmas specials, eat breakfast foods, and drink coffee and hot chocolate all day long. I really missed that this year.
About the only thing that went right this year was a friend of my wife’s got engaged on Thanksgiving Day.
The hope, obviously, is that next year will be better. I shudder to think what would have to happen to make it worse! Next year I should be a teacher, not a jewelry salesperson, which means I’ll actually be home at night and on the weekends at Christmastime. What a concept! My son will be three by then, and should fully grasp the idea of Christmas and Santa and waiting for presents, so that should be fun. Hopefully we’ll all be healthy and fit to travel next year.