This post is not about poker....

...so feel free to skip it. I just want to publicly throw these words out into the world in the hopes that I can get rid of them.

I hate the holidays...well hate is a strong word. What I hate is the constant reminders of how much has been lost. I never miss my parents so much as when Christmas rolls around..it's been 13 years since my mother died and 4 since my dad passed. And now, this year, my grandmother had developed alzheimer's in the last few months that is so severe that she no longer knows who I am.

My parents LOVED Christmas, and my mum went totally nutzo about it every year. Christmas in my parents house started on Dec 1, but the planning started before then. Homemade fruitcakes (and not the crappy ones that people want to use as doorstops; everyone wanted my mum's recipe) were started in August and left in the fruit cellar to age. The Christmas lights were put up all over the front yard around Thankgsiving; thousands of them. And cookies...it seems like all I did was bake. Cards were written and sent, and the many boxes of decorations were brought down from the attic. Christmas lists were made, but not of what YOU wanted to get but what you thought the people around you wanted. Both my parents were big fans of making their kids THINK (something I cursed them for then, but wish I could thank them for now). You had to think about the person, what they were like, what they liked, and take it from there, so everything opened on Christmas Day was a true and wonderful surprise from the cheesey stocking stuffers to your main present.

As the day came closer it was like living a Rockwell/Hallmark moment, but it was better because it was REAL and imperfect, filled with real people who not only genuinely cared about each other, but actually liked being around each other. Christmas dinners were always at our small, small house and the minimum that ever sat down at the table was 16. I'm sure there were arguments but frankly, I don't remember them. All I remember is the laughter that filled the house; well, that and been caught in the glare of the miniature sun that was the light for my dad's Super8 movie camera.

But since mum died, it's all fallen apart. As a family we were invited to the cousin's for dinner, but it was never the same. The feeling became more "I have to do this" rather than "I want to do this". And then when dad remarried and moved it became even worse. The family is too spread out now, and throw in-laws into the mix and you get a whole lot of obligation. I fucking hate obligation.

The best Christmas over the last 10 years? Getting out of town. One year Hunny Bunny and I rented a cottage for a week over Christmas (and didn't give out the phone number), but the best one was 2 years ago when we went to Las Vegas (GOD I LOVE LV!). We got married on the 22nd, and spent Christmas Day driving from the Grand Canyon to Zion National Park. It was quiet, in most places completely deserted, and it was wonderful for reasons that even now I can't quite pin down.

Sigh. But this year we're doing the holiday/family thing. And what used to be joy at the holidays is now only obligation.

Is it Boxing Day yet????

1 Responses to “This post is not about poker....”

  1. # Blogger SirFWALGMan

    Ya, its not the same as it used to be.. although having kids gives you a glint of how you used to feel.. gl Katz! Excellent post as always.  

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    Katitude



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