I arrived home from Adam & Cris's holiday party around 3:30AM SAT morning, dehydrated and a little disoriented by my totally broken sleep cycle. Jenn and I smoked some and watched White Fang II while she wrapped gifts. I got to sleep around 5AM, woke briefly at noon, then fell down again and dozed until 4PM. I had intended to finish shopping SAT morning; the mall on the Saturday evening before Christmas was not a happy prospect. Wasted day. I wrangled a sandwich, a couple of cards, and a pint of ice cream at the Kwik-E-Mart, and killed time until Jenn got home around 2:30AM. We smoked and watched a bit of Lonely Hearts. She joked, "What do you mean you never heard of it? This is our theme, our trademark movie!" It hit a little too close to home. Singlehood can be tolerable, but loneliness is unacceptable. I managed to doze off around 3AM, played alarm tag from 9 to 9:30AM, then brewed some coffee to reset my internal clock.
NOW, 1PM on Christmas Eve, I am finished with my Xmas shopping, and ready for a nap. All that remains is to wrap gifts, write 2 cards and stuff gift checks in them, and pay the bills. I have a long-standing personal tradition of gift shopping on Christmas Eve. The store employees are wound up in a happy way, eager for the madness to end. When I worked retail myself, the Christmas Eve shift is what really put me in the Christmas spirit. There was a Salvation Army brass quartet stationed in front of the bookstore - by Christmas Eve we were heartily sick of them, God bless 'em. My coworkers dressed in green and red finery and cheap fuzzy elf hats, we laughed and joked and shared an unspoken yearning for closing. Willowbrook Mall was mercifully sane this morning. The highway ramps near the strip malls on Routes 3 and 46 were jamming up as I drove home.
Mom invited me to dine on stew with Dad and her this evening, same as last year. There's snow on the lawns, with dead grass clumps poking through, but the roads are dry. Not the whitest Christmas; but then, I left my patience for winter weather to rot by the side of southbound I-95, three years ago.
If I had a companion, I'd attend the Christmas Eve ceremony at my sister's church. I did this once, alone, following my conversion in 1993. It was one of the more beautiful moments in my life. I have no heart for soul-stirring beauty viewed through my eyes only, today.