Wow they really just go right to it when it comes to Christmas, don't they? The DAY after Halloween the shopping center next to my house was already decorated with their Christmas decorations. Since I went to the grocery store in the morning and saw this, that means they had to have put the decorations up Halloween night. Fucking amazing...
My parents separated when I was very young. But Christmas was the only holiday we would all share together. Thanksgiving, Easter, and Christmas Eve were always celebrated with my mom's side of the family and my dad never came. But Christmas day was always with both my parents. My brother and I would wake up in the morning to have all of our "Santa" gifts assembled and scattered across the living room. All of our family presents (from mom and dad) were wrapped under the tree. We weren't allowed to open those until my dad arrived.
Obviously as you get older the Christmas tradition changes. Our parents would get us each 1 or 2 expensive gifts and then a mess of small things. But it was those too big gifts that made it all worth it. I would always get tech stuff (computer related things, video camera, editing equipment) and my brother would get sports related things.
Several years ago my mom passed away 3 months before Christmas. It was an extremely hard holiday to go through but our dad really pulled through and made it great. There was no Christmas tree, no wrapping paper, no nothing. It was pretty bare bones but we had all been way too depressed to get all that stuff. Especially the tree. It sucked that we didn't get one, but my brother and I decided it wouldn't be the same to decorate it without mom. She would always take us tree shopping every year and my brother and I would always find a tree we liked (just so we could hurry the fuck up and get out of there) but mom always made us stick around for an hour trying to find "the right one". As much as it always annoyed the living hell out of me, I would do anything to get moments like that back.
Which brings us to last year. Mom is gone and my father retires, buys an RV to travel the US and leaves. This was last October. But before he goes he takes us to dinner and leaves us a bunch of DVD's and a 27 inch monitor for my computer!! I was going to bring up to him if he was going to come back for Christmas but I just assumed this was probably it right now. Sure it was a few months early and took place in a Mexican restaurant, but hey, it was something. That's why I wasn't too bummed out about Christmas last year. Technically we had gotten gifts and such, just not in the traditional sense. But that's what makes this year so much harder...
We have nothing going on this year. My brother and I aren't the kind of guys that are going to buy each other expensive gifts. While it would be a nice gesture, rent money gets in the way of us doing so. I have a shitload of relatives that I will be seeing on Christmas Eve (hopefully) but we only do a playful Yankee Swap lately. Christmas Eve with my mom's family was always celebrated at my Nana's house with all my aunts, uncles, and cousins (my mom had 7 siblings) so you were guaranteed a shitload of gifts. Now that we're older it's just evolved into a Yankee Swap. Which is fine but now that both Nana and my mom have passed, everything just seems off. I don't even think we had Christmas Eve last year because of Nana's death and we're still trying to figure out where we are having it this year.
What I am going to be doing on Christmas day? I have no idea. I remember 2 years ago my Jewish buddy was nice enough to invite me to join his family for Christmas Eve dinner and a movie! (Chinese food and Sweeney Todd).
But I am not going to get to enjoy the classic Christmas morning. It's the one time of the year where I can actually ask for something I can't afford and actually get it. Does this sound selfish? Do I only care about gifts? No, but it would be nice to at least get something. Last year I spent Christmas day playing WoW all day. I wanted to put my dad's 27 inch monitor gift to use cuz that's all I had. That was my Christmas!
Hoping Santa brings me a Time Machine this year... *fingers crossed*