Christmas in The Tom Zone

Every year, Christmas glows like a beacon shining at the end of the year.  People save up all year to be able to afford the perfect gifts. Airports are abustle, and roads chockablock with cars, as revelers travel to be with their loved ones.  Halls are decked, eggs nogged, trees festooned with baubles and lights, all because it’s Christmas.

I’m happy to say that I no longer hate Christmas.

It was hard to hate Christmas.  It’s certainly not that I’m an atheist or that I bear Jesus any ill will. Quite the contrary.

During my anti-Christmas snit, I was filled with self-righteous indignation. “All of this bustle and commercialism just sweep the true meaning of Christmas under the rug.  These idiots run around buying presents, then go to church just one night a year. And Jesus was probably born in April, anyway. These people…”

I was kind of a jerk, but I hid my darkness under a proverbial bushel.  I still bought presents, and certainly never refused any–my indignation goes only so far–and it’s not like my fat ass was wearing dents in anyone’s pew cushions.

In my mind, I created a dichotomy between X-mas the loud and frantic, and Christmas, the quiet, hopeful, and simple. 

Perhaps worst of all, I did my best to avoid celebrating people. 

Nah. Drop the “perhaps.” I was so caught up in my anti-X-masism that I immersed myself in pathetically lonely Christmases.

One year in college, I worked 8 AM to 6 PM at WBGM, running a prerecorded Christmas show.  My family was 300 miles away, and I was the only person left in my dorm.  Another Christmas, I went through the celebratory motions with my family, then drove back to St Pete early in the afternoon. I had a pocket full of Christmas money, and my home bar was closed.  I found a small, dingy sports bar that was open. I spent my Christmas drinking double Sapphire & sodas, before my dark cloud and I finally drifted home.

Three years ago, I was in the process of becoming a less dickish person, only to find myself in ICU over Christmas.  I had friends and family visit me (and bring presents, and even a small tree!), and when they scattered back to their celebrations, I still had plenty of nurses and aides around.

This Christmas Eve, I’m home alone, but I’m not lonely.  I saw my family yesterday, had a wonderful lunch today with Annie the soapmaker and her minion (I mean “husband”). My Christmas shopping is done, and I’m at peace.  Tomorrow morning, I’ll drive down to my parents’ house for Christmas dinner and presents, etc. 

I’ve been working a lot recently, combined with days dealing with stabby-feet, and I just wanted Christmas Eve for myself.  I’ll fix dinner, and maybe watch “It’s a Wonderful Life,” or perhaps the more modern Christmas movie, “Love, Actually.”

Mostly, I’m safe in my home. My bills are all paid, my fridge fairly well stocked, the cat litter changed, and I have a full tank of gas. 

To me, Christmas is the little things.  My grandmother used to go all-out for Christmas.  I remember little crystal bowls filled with red, white, and green ribbon candies. To my knowledge, I’m the only one who ever ate them, and it’s a miracle my teeth didn’t fall out.  These candies weren’t as mission-critical as the turkey or ham, or wood for the fireplace.  Somehow, a couple decades or so since the last big Christmas at my grandmother’s, I’m remembering those odd, colorful candies. 

Whether you’re decking halls and fa-la-la-ing, or keeping your own company, I wish you a Merry Christmas, and a Happy New Year.

And this year, I actually mean it.


7 Responses to “Christmas in The Tom Zone”

  1. I hope you have a very magical Christmas! 🙂

    I may end up running back to my place for Love Actually at some point tomorrow morning. Even my sister wants to watch it. Very surprising.

    • It’s funny you mention your sister and “Love, Actually.” My brother never wanted to watch it, despite my praise. After his back surgery last summer, he watched it and loved it. Even the least of the storylines is still good.

      I’m watching “It’s a Wonderful Life.” It always gets me.

      Have a lovely Christmas my dear.

  2. ilostellis Says:

    I am spending Christmas alone for the first time in 17 years. I could have made plans, but I didn’t. I guess being alone… it’s what I want. I think I’m having a hard time not feeling guilty about wanting to be alone. I dunno….


    Love Actually is one of the best movies EVER. Anyone who loves that movie is immediately my best friend.
    I miss my kid more than my heart or brain can define right now. A gun to the head would probably be less painful (I think that’s probably why I’m choosing to be alone right now).
    My puppies are here for a reason. Parsley loves to attack the Roomba and I fully encourage her. 🙂
    My apt is REALLY clean. (Hey, at least I’ve been productive!!!)
    I’m starting a group called the Xmas Tree Society. 😉 Membership of one.

    Now I’m off to see a man about a novella……

    off to find the novella…….

  3. Merry Christmas, Tom. I’m glad you found it, again, or it found you.

  4. I hope you had a yoj-filled daj with the familj. Eat well, sleep well, be well and

    Merrj Christmjas, dear one!

  5. Merry Christmas Tom! Glad things are continuing to look up 🙂

  6. I love your writings and reminiscencings and philosophizings! Happy New Year!
    You are loved! 🙂

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