How to make every day like Christmas, or maybe Thanksgiving Nov 25, 2006

I can't help with the religious part of Christmas since that's never been part of my holiday experience, but I can speak to the rest of Christmas.

I made a post on Vox in response to their silly "when do you start your shopping" question of the day. I appreciate that they want to have little starter topics, in case people want to have a blog and have nothing to say (I think it defeats the purpose of having one, but I am not "most people") but I have this knee-jerky response to shopping talk, it just gives me the fits. Especially since so much of it has some "Woe is me" aspect to it. If you don't like it, then it seems to me that you should not do it, but I digress...

I really like giving things, getting things, finding things, making things, interacting with people, eating tasty food and generally spreading goodwill around. I dislike shopping, enforced fun, enforced religion, excessive protocol and etiquette, and a lot of stressful travelling in bad weather. It should be possible to get what's good about column A without submitting to too much of column B. So, my goal for this time between Thanksgiving and Christmas is to make every day "Christmas" in some way, either for me or someone else. Christmas in a good way. Column A Christmas. I'll probably still do my predictable complaining about the creche that is likely to turn up on the town commons. Column B creche. So that's the plan. If anyone tells me I'm doing it wrong I'll let my big dopey grin speak for itself.

I started after dinner on Thanksgiving. Kate and I unpacked a few containers of stuff that used to belong to my grandmother. Most of it was small things that reminded us of her, stuff from her apartment and especially her kitchen. Kate and I talked about the things we unwrapped and split them up without incident -- a salt cellar for me, the old Sweet n' Low bowl for her, ashtrays for each of us, despite the fact that we both don't smoke anymore. It was Christmaslike, in every good way and it was nice to talk about Grandma Cohon, who I miss and think about often.

Before I left today Kate said "Oh hey, do you want these old boots I have?" and gave me an old pair of lace up leather boots that I seem to recall coveting maybe 15 years ago. They fit great, they're perfectly broken in, they don't go with Kate's lifestyle anymore but they plug nicely into mine. Now I don't have to agonize over braving the malls in December to get a nice-fitting pair of boots before it snows. I have good snow boots for seriously bad weather, but my old Redwing lace-ups don't really keep the water out like they used to.

When I got off the bus from Boston in New Hampshire this afternoon, there was an older woman asking the bus terminal lady to call her a cab. They seemed familiar to each other so I asked the woman if she lived nearby. I had seen her get on the bus in Boston, accompanied by her son who had made sure she got situated okay. She lived a few miles in my direction so I said I'd give her a ride. We had a nice talk about libraries (she loves them), computers (she's getting the hang of them) and families (loves them) and she said she was giving thanks for ME when I dropped her off at the door to her retirement home.

I wrapped up the day with some leftovers and a campfire with Rick and Sarah and their visiting friend Jonah on the side of a dark chilly hill down the street from me, watching the moon set. Then we went inside for pie. Happy holidays everybody. Do your best.

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We were thankful you were able to come over and hang out!
26 November, 2006 10:43
Sounds like you had a good for you Thanksgiving, and that makes me happy. I am way behind on blog reading, but got here from your Flickr photo. I love the loot. As I unpack in Eau Claire, I'll look for more.
30 November, 2006 08:55
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