December 26, 1999

Hi. I'm back. For now.

Just for the record, I've started numerous other entries. Stating the obvious, none of the entries have made it up here. Not to say they weren't absolutely brilliantly written, titillating, thought-provoking, and whatever. Put it down to my busy life. That seems as good an excuse as any.

You know it's been too damned long since you put up an entry when your husband, who is not the most regular poster out there, has more entries for the month than you do, and starts asking you, daily, if you're planning on writing again.

A belated chappy Chanukah to fellow Members of the Tribe. A belated merry merry to those of you who observe that one. A killer Kwanzaa (thank you Chuck for coming up with that bit of seasonally-appropriate alliteration) to those who celebrate that. The theory in this house is that if there are gifts or a good meal associated with the holiday, we celebrate.

So, we did Chanukah. I can see from my previous entry that that's about the last time I posted.

OK, so maybe I'll only post on holidays from now on?

So, the Festival of Lights passed uneventfully around here. Round about night number seven, Zoe saw that there was only one gift left and was wondering if my mother would be sending any more soon. The answer was a resounding no to my ever greedy little angel.

Now Christmas has passed. Just for the record, I started my shopping in July. OK, the fact that I finished up and the last purchase arrived on December 23 is not great, but that's better than last year.

I did a fair amount of shopping on the web this year. God Bless E-toys. I had to love that I sat down at my desk at 11:00 at night in my bathrobe, smoked a few ciggies and did 99% of Zoe's holiday shopping. I'm proud to admit that I did not step one foot into Toys 'R Us this year.

I unfortunately did venture into K-B Toys. I will never step foot in that store again.

Not only were the sales help completely ignorant of the stock, but the entire store is overpriced and booby-trapped. There are no clear aisles. An aisle may start in a particular place but then you are suddently confronted with an enormous display of precariously stacked boxes blocking further progress. They provide no baskets for your purchases. I'm here to tell you that one Barbie airplane (E-toys was out of stock) and you have to be done with your shopping because it's physically impossible to carry anything else. You can add K-B to my list of one woman boycotts.

I'm ashamed to admit that we (OK, I) went a little overboard on the gifts for Zoe. There were only a couple of big things but a lot of little things and after a while we stopped giving her things to open. There is still an igloo-like play house that's made out of white cardboard that she can color all over, that is still wrapped and under the tree. I figure I'll break it out in a month or so when all the excitement from other gifts she's gotten has worn off.

Though I'm completely fed up and worn out today I will say that this is the first Christmas I can remember where I wasn't sad and disappointed at the end of the day. I spend a lot of time picking out what I think will be the perfect gifts for my friends and family and am usually disappointed with them (the friends and family that is).

Then there's my own haul. Until this year, Chuck has been really strapped at the holidays, and though I know he's doing his best, I will be ungracious and admit that I am always left wanting more. OK, it's not a nice thing about me but there it is.

This year I was delighted.

For the first time ever, we actually decorated the house. OK, I decorated the house. Chuck got the outside Christmas lights up shortly after Thanksgiving. That same weekend I cleared the mantle and put up garland and strung lights. We put the tree up. And I actually procured holiday decorations for inside the house. I've never been much for seasonal-specific decorations, but figured what the hell. I'm pleased with the overall effect.

The thing that got me out of my usual holiday blues this year, I think, was that I stepped out of myself. I went into it with no expectations or hopes and found myself thankful and pleased. Not a bad approach. I may try it with more things.

I will now take a moment to add to the icicle light backlash I see coming. Last year only a few homes had these cute little strings of lights that resemble icicles. I thought they looked lovely. So lovely that when I saw them at Target back in October I bought a few boxes. We can have a quaint looking house too, I thought. I think my first clue should have been that the lights were available at Target.

Now every fucking house on every fucking street has those fucking icicle lights. I'm so sick of them that the minute they come down they're going right into the trash. OK, the trash or the ubiquitous garage sale pile.

Hardly any houses have those gaudy big colored lights. A pathetically fewer number of houses have those glowing Santa's and his reindeer perched precariously on the roof. (Wow, I've used that word twice in one entry--I must be running out of words.) No. Just icicle lights. As far as the eye can see. And where there are icicle lights there are also usually those nets of lights that you put over your shrubbery. OK, we don't have those but only because the only ones I saw were totally overpriced.

We've all turned into a homogenized bunch of me-too's.

I urge you all to throw out your icicle lights and return to holiday color melee for the first Christmas of the new century.

This entry has is rambling and poorly organized and isn't probably what you'd expect after being gone so long but it's up.

Until next time...

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