What I’m about to write may send shivers down the spines of the purveyors of expensive gifts everywhere. While I’d have much rather had a job and felt like I had more money to spend this Christmas … knowing that I couldn’t was liberating.
Gone was the admittedly self-imposed guilt that I didn’t buy jewelry, or high-end electronics, or any of the other things we’re told make us good husbands and dads and what ever. Gifts this year required some thought, and thoughtfulness, and I think the things I got for people will be received in the spirit in which they were given.
So, when the big ticket item is simply out of the question, and you don’t have to worry about the Lexus, and everyone else knows it too, the pressure is off. It’s not being cheap, it’s doing what you can. And that’s what the season is supposed to be about, right?
That’s not to say there aren’t plenty of packages under the tree, and we do have a tree. Another thing about blended, far-flung families is that the arbitrary December 25th day to celebrate just isn’t as important. My nephew Nikolas won’t be here until late tonight, and Jenni doesn’t get in until tomorrow afternoon. So we won’t have our big Christmas celebration until tomorrow evening, when we can all be together. My oldest sister unfortunately won’t be here, and I know that makes her sad, and us too. I don’t know how that ever gets resolved.
Last night was Enchilada Eve … which is our big blowout holiday party. Andie’s mom instilled the tradition in her, and as long as I’ve known her, it was open house on Christmas Eve. Big pans of enchiladas (because nothing says Christmas like Mexican food), as many sides as people care to bring, and they brought a ton … plenty of beer and wine and other Holiday cheer … and a perfect night for the festivities. It was warm all day yesterday, and while we didn’t have a fire in the fireplace … we did light the fire bowl outside. One of the things I really enjoy about living in Florida is that you can have parties outside year round. So, we had family, extended family, close friends, friends of friends, and plenty of holiday cheer. For a part that was advertised to end at 7 … the last of the guests didn’t go home until around 11 … and that was darn fine. We had nothing on the books today, and I truly enjoy having people enjoy our house. It was informal, late, loud, and one of the best Enchilada Eve celebrations in my memory. Thanks to all who attended.
So today, it’s just a down day. That’s OK. Not down as in depressed, but quiet. I have a steak to grill for our dinner tonight, which will be just us. Andie’s not clamoring to open gifts, which is unusual, but the cold I had three weeks ago has hit her just in time for Christmas … so she’s not really feeling herself. We’ll put our feet up, laze on the couch, drink tea, and wait for our Christmas a day late.
Which will extend to Monday, when the box Jenni and her mom shipped yesterday will actually arrive.
Merry Christmas … or (insert your particular holiday greeting here)