Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Christmas Aftermath

I'm home again after Christmas and having a really slow/distracted day. It's amazing the number of things I've found myself Googling, just because of a cascade of free associations. There was a link in Facebook to an event, that I then looked up, but then I wondered if it conflicted with something else, that I then had to look up, and then that made me wonder about something else that might have been a conflict to that event. When it wasn't, I had to research options relating to that event. And then it was an hour later and I realized I was getting lightheaded because I'd forgotten to eat lunch.

Anyway, I had a really wonderful Christmas, and I think my breaking of my usual schedule turned out to be a great idea. When I'm away from home for more than a few days, I tend to get these sudden "I want to be home, NOW" feelings, and I'm very antsy and restless until I can get home. When I go to my parents' house a couple of days before Christmas, my "I need to be home, NOW" urge often strikes on Christmas Day itself, totally dampening the mood. This time, I arrived on Christmas so I had a couple of days of being content where I was, and that made the whole day go better for me. I'm also one of those people who gets my holiday high in the buildup, so that there's a huge, anticlimactic letdown after Christmas morning. This year, we did "Christmas" in the afternoon, after dinner, which stretched Christmas out, and since I was newly arrived at my parents' house, I didn't get the same letdown at all. We went straight from my arrival to Christmas dinner, to Christmas presents, to Doctor Who.

Plus, I really enjoyed the days leading up to Christmas. On Friday night, I turned on my Christmas lights, lit the candles in the fireplace (the ambience of a fire without the mess or danger), made some cocoa and watched The Holiday, which left me feeling all cozy and warm and fuzzy. I slept late on Saturday, made waffles, and had a lazy day eating popcorn, reading and watching bad cable Christmas movies (it's a weakness). The Christmas Eve services at my church were wonderful. The early service, at 7, had an Easter-like crowd, with standing room only, folding chairs brought in for the ends of rows and several rows of chairs in the foyer (there are windows between the foyer and the sanctuary). When we lit all the candles at the end and turned out the lights, it was amazing to look down from the choir loft and see those hundreds of candles stretching all the way to the back. The 11 p.m. service was less full, more like a normal Sunday, but it had its own kind of energy. Driving home at 12:30, I had "What Sweeter Music" on the car stereo and some of the houses in the neighborhood I drove through still had their Christmas lights on. At home, someone had a fire going, with that fireplace scent in the air. It was all very magical.

I went to my parents' house later than I planned because the night was later than I expected and I had a hard time getting to sleep and thus overslept. It was nice to travel with hardly any traffic, and it was dark and cloudy enough that the lights in each of the little towns I went through showed up. I had my Christmas music playing and was singing along merrily. The only hiccup was the fact that my "check tire pressure" light came on when I was between small towns, and it's impossible to tell if that means "you should probably check the pressure when you get a chance" or "YOUR TIRE HAS GONE FLAT!!!!! YOU'RE GOING TO DIE!!!!" Because I've had a tire fall apart on me in the middle of nowhere and didn't want to count on pickup truck chivalry on Christmas, I pulled over at the next gas station to check, and one was visibly low but none were flat, so I put a little air in the visibly low one -- and then suddenly had concerned offers of help from the other patrons at the gas station, which is one of those small Texas town things. The light didn't go off, so I drove the rest of the way worrying a bit, but I made it, and my dad put air in all the tires before I came home so I could get rid of that light.

Anyway, I may make a new tradition of doing things that way, going out of town on Christmas Day and spending Christmas Eve at home. This was one of the best, happiest Christmases I've had in a long time, and I think a lot of it had to do with synching my schedule with my personality, plus I really enjoy that kind of big service with amazing music. My taste veers toward the classical, especially in church, and my parents' church tends toward guitar and drum sets, which is so not my thing in church. We had an orchestra and handbells and sang Faure.

And now I need to focus my brain and attempt to do some work because I do still have work to do this week.

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