Monday, December 14, 2009
I can see the onslaught of Christmas crawling toward me, a storm picking up speed as the temperature drops. I can't even escape it at the grocery store. Cases of satsumas? Not made for single girls.
I am perched on the familiar blue stool in the corner of my mom's kitchen watching her cook. She's watching me stew. "Why don't you use this opportunity to write a really lonely, sad holiday story?" She says, shaking salt into the pan. Thanks, mom. Go ahead and bring that salt over here. Rub it directly into my wounds.
Not this year, mom. I can prove her, and everyone else, wrong. I don't need a man to have a merry freaking Christmas. We are celebrating the birth of Jesus, for God's sake. Last time I dove into religious studies (reading The DaVinci Code counts, right?), Jesus was single. Or at least singlish. So by hanging one stocking with care, I am simply honoring the memory of Him.
All the "hims" I have had, they just string me along. They never string my Christmas lights. I might need a hired hand, but I don't need a boyfriend to get through the twelve days of Christmas.
So now that I have decided what I don't need, what do I need? I guess I need a list. A "things to do to be merry and bright without a boyfriend" list.
10am. On a Tuesday. Too early for wine. By Christmas Eve, I am sure I will have a different opinion.
Corey, Kelson and Nick. Who needs the three wise men of Bethlehem? I have three the smart-asses of Langley that start my latte before I even get to the counter. They are handsome and funny and I am already feeling more festive. This is going to be easier than I thought. I pry myself away from flirting to scan the tables in the bustling cafe. I am meeting Nathan and I spot him already waiting. He stands, buying my coffee and, knowing my sweet tooth, doesn't hesitate to add a cookie to the order when he sees me eyeing the pastry case. Christmas alone is a piece of cake. Or cookie. I settle into the warmth of the ruby-red banquette, starting my mental winter-wonderland prep list.
Walking through the tree farm I realize what a horrible mistake I made. I am single and brave for Christmas, but it doesn't make me invincible. I know what we must look like traipsing through the trees, him teasing me with Charlie Brown trees, me playfully pouting back. We look like we will choose the tree and head back to decorate it in front of the fire while we sip wine and talk about what we are going to get all our family members for the big day. We look cute. Like a cute couple. Yes, I am single and brave this year. I have done a lot of work. But I know the truth, and it's a truth that could bring me to my knees if I let it.
Nevertheless, I have a tree now. It's waiting patiently on the front porch for me to make the next move. I lean against the cedar shingles staring at my new accessory. He is a handsome, this Noble Fir. Strong and silent (not to mention horizontal), this is my kind of man. All he needs is some flair.
There is no light quite like Christmas light. I can never resist the glow, sparkling from the tree, in a house otherwise steeped in dark silence.
I've never done the outside light thing, or this Christmas tree thing. I feel slightly empowered, and equally overwhelmed as I figure it out and figure out to just leave some things for later. I decide to tackle the outdoor lights while the sun is still shining and while there is still a part of me that believes an elf will take care of the tree while I am not looking. Three hours and two frozen hands later, I have a perfectly crooked line of twinkling white lights leading from gutter to gutter and down around the railing. Holiday decorating without a moment of moping. I am well on my way to making this the most wonderful time of the year. Back inside to build a fire and warm up while I decorate the tree.
For a little jovial motivation, I must have holiday music. I've just moved in and my electronics department is lacking to say the least. After a half-hour of trying to figure out exactly how to stream Pandora, I remember my good friend, Mr.Lamb. His job is A/V. He will solve all my Christmas music needs with one phone call.
I'm not the only one who needs music. I am in charge of music, centerpeices and employee gifts for my boss' company celebration. I completely forgot that in addition to prepping me for the holidays I am also prepping him for his festivities. It also reminds me that I need to invoice him and my other boss, too. Nothing under my tree unless my two main men pay me.
I'm exhausted. My list looks good, though, and I would rather feel tired and accomplished than lonely and depressed. This year feels so much better than last year. I still see Christmas on the horizon, but now I am actually excited about it. There will be lots of laughter, lots of friends and family. There will be moments that make memories: some planned, some not. And some of my very favorite people will be touching down in Sea-Tac very soon and that makes me very happy. Who knows? Maybe on the other side of this, there will be mistletoeing and hearts glowing.
Wait. Shit. Looking over the last few days of holiday madness I realize I didn't need a man. I needed several. Shit. What's a girl to do? I guess all I can do is be a very good girl and ask Santa for a one-and-only next year.