Celebrations are things you don’t exactly notice until you have to make a conscious effort to make them happen. Christmas season has been an integral part of my life for years and years now – one of the consequences of growing up in a Christian environment and having a devout Catholic for my best friend. My many yuletide memories include midnight mass, homemade wine, marzipan rolling and jiving at 2 a.m. This year she’s a new mama and will most likely want to have a family Christmas so I’m not about to intrude.
Last evening the office bunch decided to organize a ‘Secret Santa’. Each of us has picked a chit bearing the name of one person at the office. We are to be Secret Santa to the person whose name we picked. I went shopping immediately after work to fill up my Santa bag. I came back with chocolates and a funky toy thing that I think he’ll like.
This morning I walked into an office that looked like red had exploded in here. The HR mail did say ‘casuals with some red or white’ so I figured my wine-red with grey tartan on light trousers would be good. Everyone is dressed in a blinding shade of red with a few Santa hats here and there. I dodged to my desk before any of them would pounce on me. Thank goodness for the reindeer antlers I picked up on a whim last evening, intending to wear them for the mandatory photographs at the end of the day! That’s been accepted as suitable Christmas Eve apparel.
So I’m jingling bells (sewn onto the red antlers affixed to a green headband) when I’m walking. This reminds me of the friend who suggested I decorate my Secret Santa gift with red ribbon and green mistletoe. I refrained, of course, realising that she didn’t know the significance of mistletoe. Now mistletoe on a headband might be a really nice idea, mightn’t it? Especially if the object of one’s affection happens to be standing close by…hmm, hmm, hmm, some Christmas gift that would be! 😉
A couple of years back, the very year J got married, in fact, I decided not to intrude on the private celebration she was sure to want with her new husband…I went to a house party with another dear friend. Our host greeted us at the door with a hot bod squeezed into a tight tee, a knock-you-down grin and a Santa hat. The funny thing was that no one at the party was a Christian, practising or otherwise. Oh well, I rationalized, you can celebrate a holiday simply because it makes you happy. My celebration is not religious, it’s sentimental but what difference, either way? I don’t really remember getting home that night but we did have a crazy blast.
This year has been….well, much, much better than the heartbreaking hell that 2007 was. But it leaves us on a sad note, trailing behind terror-struck debris in place of the unstoppable city I used to call home. Less than a month ago, I also lost a colleague, a work buddy, my right arm at the office. I feel the loss of this mild-mannered, always-smiling 25-year-old every single day. Sid, I never told you just how much I relied on you, did I?
This year, I don’t know yet what I’m going to be doing. I don’t want to – like every other holiday this year – spend this one working off my sleep debt or doing something incredibly fashionable (and expensive). For the last holiday of the year I think I’ll celebrate it true Ideasmith-style – with loads of sentiment and nostalgia and warm practicality.
I’m meeting a longtime comfortable-as-a-cuddy-pillow friend and I think I’ll go to midnight mass with him. It would be nice to attend mass at my school church which is where I stood next to J for all these years. I guess I’ll bump into her there which should be good. It isn’t really Christmas without J.
Merry Christmas everyone!!