I think most everyone becomes a kid at Christmas, don’t you think? I mean, we all still have secret wishes and expectations regardless of rational, adult thought. I know there’s no jolly fat man in a red velvet suit swooshing down the chimney as my apartment fireplace is ‘faux’ and I alone control the ‘faux’ fire logs. But that fact did not diminish the hope and excitement of my two feet hitting the bedroom floor yesterday morn.

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The tree was the same though. A couple of festive, holiday-themed gift bags, a tin of Christmas shortbread, two bottles of wine, and a scattering of Christmas cards artfully arranged beneath flocked branches signaled no visit from Santa as the silent tableau was exactly the same as the day before. And the days before that. I guess my inner child needs adult therapy to believe ‘magical thinking’ will produce a Christmas day that doesn’t feel like the second Tuesday of, say, August.

The weather refused to cooperate with my magical thinking yesterday, too. I did not get the proverbial ‘white Christmas.’ I simply must have a white Christmas; I don’t care about snowfall on any other day of the year but for the love of the newborn Christ child can’t we have snow on damn Christmas day?! But it was a fairly mild day here in the midwest; the sun lazily poked through overcast clouds a few hours. I had my tree lit and my old-fashioned plastic ‘candleliers’ were plugged in, glowing orange flames, but you wouldn’t note either from the streets as it was too damn sunny to enjoy the lights. Meh.

In other “White Christmas” fails, I swiveled my desktop Mac to face the sofa. As is my annual tradition, I enjoy settling into a large slice of pie mounded with whipped cream to enjoy the timeless, ever-classic Irving Berlin “White Christmas.” It is THE quintessential Christmas film and while some of my youthful contemporaries roll their eyes and espouse the joys and LOLs of a more modern holiday movie like “ELF,” well, in all frankness — do fuck off with that nonsensical shit. I’m talking Bing Crosby crooning the movie’s namesake tune, talented Rosemary Clooney back when she had a waistline, and the tapping toes and weightless whirls of Vera Ellen. (Vera didn’t have a waistline, btw…she had a thorax)

But even that wee bit of joy was stripped as my DVD kept ejecting. I had no idea what the fuck was wrong and like any ‘i-can-fix-anything’ butch male I continued jamming the DVD into the tiny slot until it all got the best of me and I gave in to the karmic curse apparently placed on my Christmas day joys large and small.

I did phone out-of-state family and that’s always a feel good time as siblings recall childhood memories of Christmas past. It’s our collective memories that keep those distant holidays alive. Phoning mother, on the other hand, was chore-like and I wasn’t disappointed with her standard litany of “…it’s just another day…” She’s getting up there in years and has managed to isolate herself into certain dire circumstances; I know that hard decisions need to be made soon. And none of that business will go down easy. But I digress.

I’m on holiday for the remainder of the week; a much-needed break from the fast pace I’ve been managing in the workplace of late. Today I plan to visit a couple resale shops and knock about in search of the discarded silver serving pieces for a hidden treasure. I don’t need a thing but enjoy rescuing a blackened bit of silverplate that perhaps graced a holiday table long ago. Once home, the fervor of polishing brings not only a shine to the odd drinks tray but to my day as well. Keeping busy helps my mind stay focused on the here and now while keeping the ghost of Christmases past — partnered, a sparkling tree crowning wrapped gifts, and a dining table surrounded with the company of friends (now deceased or aged and apathetic to Christmas traditions) — well, firmly planted in the past.

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