How Holiday Are You?

I think I fall about halfway up the “Santa scale.” Yes, I have roasted chestnuts on an open fire (they weren’t bad, but an oven is a lot easier, not to mention safer. When you’ve had to dodge an exploding chestnut, you realize that modern conveniences are good things). No, I have not had figgy pudding. Although I’ve gone caroling and demanded it more than once, nobody’s given me any, which didn’t upset me as the idea of figs in pudding sounded borderline disgusting. Turns out, though, it’s not a milk-Bill Cosby commercial-pudding. It’s a cooked dessert, kind of like a dense, moist cake. So maybe not bad, although I couldn’t say as nobody’s brought me any right here. To be fair, however, I do remember singing that I would not go until I got some, and as I’m not still standing in the rec room of that nursing home warbling my head off, I can’t blame people for assuming I wasn’t all that serious about wanting it.

My mother and I used to make ornaments, a new kind each year. I still have a few, painted wood from the year I turned 10, if I remember right. We used to make photo ornaments each year, but then life got away from us and we haven’t for the last year or so. Next year. We own artificial Christmas trees, as we both have allergies, and they’re already up. Yes, “they.” We own multiple trees. Upside, little needle drop and you can put them up whenever you have time. Downside, no woodsy tree scent. Upside, no woodsy tree pollen. Still, we’ve hauled out the ornaments and lights, festooned the trees (how often do you have an excuse to say you’ve “festooned?”) and hung the stockings (not necessarily with great care, but they’re up there).

Yes, there are sad memories at this time of year. We’ve both lost people around Christmas, so the ghosts of Christmas Past have familiar faces, making this a good time to toast absent friends and loved ones, and do something nice for someone who isn’t expecting it in memory of love that has been. Also a good time for eating figgy pudding, if anyone gives you any. Not that I’m hinting or anything.

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