Tuesday, December 12, 2017

The Ghost of Christmas Passed

Nobody is missing.  We're just waiting.

I'm having a little trouble getting into the Holiday Spirit this year.  Not exactly sure why.  With the Teenangster’s birthday in the second week of December, we tend to not do significant decorating until after we’ve celebrated her day.  So that might be part of it.  It’s the last of her “angst” years, so I’ll have to come up with a new moniker I suppose. 

We’re way behind our usual pace too.  By now we’ve usually picked up a few gifts, written the slightly informational, yet completely irreverent Christmas letter, gotten a strong start on the Christmas cards, and attended the mandatory-fun Command Holiday Party.  I have no idea if a letter will even be attempted this year, we just bought some cards today, and our holiday party had to be moved to January.


Yeah, that’s what I thought- a Holiday party in January?  The only fun holiday in January is New Year’s Day, and that’s reserved for college bowl games and sobering up.  No disrespect intended to the estimable Dr. Martin Luther King, but his isn’t a day especially known for imbibing, recovering from imbibing, or collegiate sports.  As it turns out, our hard working and well-intentioned party planning committee chose the perfect December date for the fiesta.  Perfect, except for the fact that it conflicted with the longest and worst scheduled Mine Countermeasures (MCM) Exercise in recent memory.   We didn’t schedule it, but the folks in COMFIFTHFLEET, the ones who actually do Mine Warfare, as opposed to the folks in my command who just talk about it (guffaw), found that the dates work better for our coalition partners, some of which aren’t all that keen about Christian-based holidays.  That meant that a good portion of our staff would be in Bahrain advising, training, and assessing the forward-deployed Naval MCM Forces.   

So, our party this year isn’t until next year.  January 12th to be specific.  I’m sure it’ll be very anti-climactic, but what can you do?  Not go I suppose, but I wouldn’t be much of a team player.  “Sorry, I don’t want to hang out with all of you outside of work except before Christmas.  After Christmas?  Forget it!”  That is the weekend before MLK day so it is still a “Holiday” party I guess. 


My lovely wife usually kicks off the season in our household.  At a minimum, she puts out the Advent Wreath and fills the Advent Calendar with little candies for our kids, neither of which are kids anymore of course.  Despite being all grown up, they still love the Christmas traditions they knew as kids, like the daily dose of the sweet stuff out of that particular decoration.  Quite particular about their candy is the younger one though, as I caught her swapping out some of the later days of the month with this week, knowing she’ll get to the calendar before her brother to get the “better” candy.  I’ll show her by filling it with black licorice and Jujubes next year.  Fortunately for her, my son takes more after me and isn’t all that concerned about it.  He’ll just roll his eyes at her as he happily munches whatever is there.

I’m not sure I’ll get around to putting up lights this year.  It takes a couple hours and I didn’t find the time for it this past weekend.  This time of year there’s only about 90 minutes of daylight by the time I get home from work so inside decorations might be our only “Fa La La La La” as my wife puts it.  I didn’t waste the weekend, but it sort of feels like it as I was driving around San Diego County playing “See’s Candy Delivery Man.”  My son hit up our relatives at Thanksgiving for his school fundraiser and cleaned them out.   

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We do have a couple other traditions.  Egg Nog is a favorite of mine, with or without the additional spirit.  Watching "It's a Wonderful Life" is another.   I mentioned that my wife is usually the Christmas catalyst round these parts.  She’s gainfully employed this season though, for the first time since the kids were born.  And as a new member of the workforce, she doesn’t have the energy that she was able to spend on excessive holiday spirit like she once did.  She’s working in the hospitality sector too so her weekends aren’t my weekends now and we don’t have each other to nag encourage about the Christmas chores.  The weather isn't helping either.  It's supposed to be 85 today and if you haven't heard, California is on fire again.

 

I guess our lack of spirit, which could better be described as a lack of energy, is understandable.  It also helps us focus better on the actual meaning of Christmas, vice all the commercialism.  The specter that is crass commercialism and getting all caught up in the shopping has definitely passed us by, if we ever really bought into it.  Advent is time of waiting anyway.  So my lack of spirit actually is Keeping Christ in Christmas, especially if I'm just waiting for it to arrive.  It’s a good time for it in our house anyway, with the kids being older, my wife and I getting older, and we sure don’t need more stuff.  I’m perfectly content with nothing under the tree for me and a simple Christmas morning with a few gifts for the rest of the family.  How about you?

12 comments:

  1. Here in the upper Midwest another inch of the white stuff yesterday aaaaannnd it's 6 above(F) right now. Eggnog is good although I prefer it straight and the house is decorated. Now for the Christmas cards today and time for the Christmas CDs. Being closer to the end than the beginning there's not much I need although I did notice one of the snow shovels is wearing out on the working end. Then there's Christmas Eve service to attend and that's what it's all about.... eh?

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    1. We used to attend Midnight Mass, but we got too old to stay awake as did our Pastor, who moved it to 10PM, then 8PM. With Christmas on Monday, we'll be attending Mass either 2 times on Sunday (10AM for regular Sunday, 8PM for Christmas Vigil) or two days in a row (morning mass).

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  2. We put lights in the windows, a wreath here and there but since the kids won't be visiting this year, we will forego having a tree. I miss it but it's a lot of effot for just the two of us.

    We will be spending Christmas with The Nuke and I'm really looking forward to that.

    Nice post Tuna.

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    1. Yes, I know how to spell "effort." I just don't know how to consistently type "effort."

      Sigh...

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    2. A wreath is a quick win in the decoration department. I'll do that post haste.

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  3. It gets more difficult to get in the spirit as the kids are spinning up their transition to adulthood. But Little Juvat will be back in town on R&R, so we've got that to look forward to. MBD is juggling the two families thing with her boyfriend, but said she'd be home for Christmas. She and I will have our traditional day making sweet potato gnocchi, which always makes it a good day. Off to San Angelo to do battle with the Car Salesman today. Mrs J has decided on a new ride. So it is written, so it shall be!

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    1. Your son coming home on R&R- You have inspired another post for me. My life has been made all the better because of one particular R&R.

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  4. Christmas is in full bloom here at The manor. Outside, a wreath and a couple lighted trees brighten up the front door. Inside, the tree is up and the house decorations will be an ongoing project as more and more are added almost daily as MiLady continues to fine tune. 3-4 inches of snow brightened up the season last weekend but caused the cancellation on one party but there's a couple more upcoming. Highlight of the season was a matinee showing of It's A Wonderful Life yesterday for my Mother who had never seen it.

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    1. We haven't watched it yet, but will this weekend most likely. We own it on DVD, but also catch it on NBC which has the rights to it I believe.

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  5. Christmas really takes over in this house the MoB has been bingeing the Hallmark Channel since before it should be allowed (IYKWIM), the totes, all 16 came out and have been emptied, and their contents a now on display inside and outside.
    They shall remain so until at least January 6, Little Christmas.
    This year it looks like everyone who missed Thanksgiving together will be here for that.
    That's reason enough to celebrate.

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