The problem with Christmas is that it feels too much like a report card on how you've spent your life. Are you shuttling from one corner of Creation to another so nobody feels left out? It's because you can't say no, and you've lived your life too much for others. However, if your Christmas company is Wild Turkey and self-pity, you've lived too much for yourself and that's how you wound up on your own.
Or it's an exercise in wondering about the Christmases that could have been. If I'd never left Australia, it would be summer right now. If I had more money, maybe I'd be in L.A. with my sister. If I hadn't gotten divorced, I'd be on my sixth year of marriage, and maybe making myself nuts looking for windup hamsters for a litter of ungrateful brats. If I'd never learned to cook, I might have starved to death. If I'd never filled out, I'd be shopping in the boy's department. Every coulda shoulda feels more and more absurd.
The end of each year feels too much like an exercise in what could have been, and what life should be. It feels unfair, like being ambushed at your annual review with mistakes you never noticed making. Most of my wrong turns took me to wonderful places. Most of my life is being lived the way I'd want it to be. I have a lot to be grateful for.
And part of that gratitude is for y'all, my readers. May you find your peace caroling 'round the tree, at Chinese food and a movie, or alone with your maudlin absurdity.
I, for one, shall be drinking Pimms Cups with any and all who are escaping familial obligations as fast as they can manage it.