Alone for the Holidays

I've spent the holidays away from my family for several years. Each year has been different. The first year in some ways was the hardest but in some ways the easiest as I had no real idea what it would be like. That was the Chris year. The Chris year involved a lot of food (turkey AND a ham on the table, homemade perogies...mmmm) and booze. We started off Christmas morning with some Crown Royal in our coffee. The whole week between Christmas and New Year's was sort of a drunken blur. Was I happy? No. But not entirely miserable either which is good because that was a really bad year.

The next year was my Muslim Christmas. I stayed at home but a friend of mine came by and I cooked a traditional Christmas dinner. She never had a traditional Christmas dinner which was understandable seeing as she was Muslim and all. I believe she left addicted to my stuffing (as all sane people are). Although it was nice to cook for someone it was not a particularly good Christmas. I put on a happy face while my friend was there and I *was* happy to see her but I was not happy overall.

The year after that was Christmas at the Farm. I was dating someone and his parents has a farm and I spent Christmas with them. It's always odd to spend Christmas with someone else's family (even if I did really like his family). It was nice but odd at the same time. And I was mostly exhausted because we had been working like insane worker bees at work and all I wanted to do was sleep. I wasn't quite up to being social. I only wanted to crash. And I tried really hard to be happy but under the surface I was cranky and tired. I was at least grateful that I didn't have to think of anything to do on my own for the holidays.

The next year was the Young Anthony Christmas. I was going to be spending Christmas alone and was not happy about it but Young Anthony decided to not go home for Christmas and instead spent it with meeeeeeee. Yay! His mother wasn't so impressed although was slightly heartened at the thought that he was spending Christmas with a girl. Sigh. Poor Anthony's mother. lol We had yummy food and homemade eggnog and we watched movies. It was good. But I was still bitter about the holidays. And tired due to work.

Last years was the Hungover Christmas. I had a Merry Fucking Christmakah with a friend of mine on Christmas Eve and drank wayyyyy too much and spent the next day horribly hungover. I was supposed to spend it with the mommies and their family...oops. I felt horrible about that (and I still do). Again, last year did not enjoy the holidays. I was unhappy and vaguely bitter.

This year...this year was odd. I made more effort this year than I've made in years. In some ways I was more "traditional" - attending a carol service and then a Christmas Ever service. I sent out Christmas cards. I got Christmas gifts out on time (more or less). But on the other hand I was less traditional. I slept in until 11.I gave up on trying to make a traditional Christmas for myself and didn't mourn it. I had carbonara and sparkling wine. I watched both the BBC and the big screen version of Pride and Prejudice. Actually, I was quite bored. But aside from being bored the holidays didn't bother me so much. Not to say that there weren't moments where it did but they were fleeting.

I joked a lot about faking the joy. I had planned to make a whole series out of it. But the truth was I wasn't exactly faking. The baking was out of habit but the truth is I did it because I was bored and stressed and it made me feel productive when I was unable to do anything on my computer because it was processing things (the joys of working from home). The holidays gave me an excuse to bake more than anything. I didn't feel joyful but I didn't do anything that I really didn't *want* to do either. Sure, the whole church thing was definitely out of the normal but I was honestly quite curious about what this particular church was like. It was nice...a lot nicer than the church I went to as a child and had my church been more like this one perhaps I wouldn't be so anti-church.

The joy was missing. But so was the bitterness. I figure that's progress. I can't promise myself that the bitterness is totally gone. Every year is different. But I think perhaps that the difference is that this year as a whole I've been pretty content with my life. Sure there are things I would have liked to have been different - evil vile neighbours, my hibernationa habits, etc - but overall I'm content. I like my job. My contract was extended once and will be extended again (alas I don't think I've been granted permenancy but I can deal with that). I've been blogging more even though I've been a negligent and overall lazy blogger (more on that sometime...). I started blogging at BlogHer. I was a Guest Bitch. I got my own domain (thanks Jony). I visited my family. My father does not have cancer. My mother is renovating her place. Overall life is good and I'm content. Perhaps next year I'll have the joy. But for now I'm more than happy to settle for content.