You know what Christmas means to me? Cold weather. Snow, if you’re really lucky. Sledding. Getting three Chapsticks in your stocking and being thrilled because your lips really were about to fall off.
Christmas won’t be Christmas if I’m stuck in Los Angeles.
But I am stuck in Los Angeles. My injured husband can’t travel. As he’s not a holiday person, he’s thrilled to have a relaxing holiday at home.
The weather is clear and sunny. The palm trees are swaying. My orange tree is filled with fruit.
Memory lane is more enticing than oranges today. So below is a recap of all the fabulous Christmases I spent in cold — and sometimes even snowy — places, having proper Christmases. May they fill you with holiday cheer!
My family collects college degrees. We have some BAs, a lot of BS, an MD, a JD, an MBA, a MSW, an MFA, and a Masters of Education. Big Brother added second MBA when he married. Judgmental Genius Doctor Sister married a second lawyer. I brought the most, though, when I added Andy — a Masters of Engineering AND a Masters in Cyber Security (so, HA, you Russian hackers, give up attacking my website already).
When Judgmental Genius Doctor Sister settled down with Georgia Boy, I thought they were doomed. Dr. Sis typical of our overachieving white family: type A squared, super competent, goal-oriented, impatient, and INCREDIBLY judgmental. She worked hard for her full scholarship to college, she won her medical school graduation, she kicked ass in her residency, and she destroyed her oncology fellowship at MD Anderson while coping with a difficult pregnancy. (For five months, Dr. Sis operated on patients while wearing a shitload of icepacks to stay conscious.)
When I was a little girl, I couldn’t wait for December 2nd. Not December 1st, not December 25th, but December 2nd.
That was my day to open a window on the Christmas Advent Calendar.
For my heathen readers and fellow atheists, Advent Calendars have numbered windows. On the first day of December, you open window #1. You might see a Bible verse, or the first line of The Night Before Christmas. There’s a window to open every day until Christmas Day, when you will have plenty of presents to open instead. Continue reading Countdown to Christmas (#161)
When my elementary school classmates found out my parents were divorcing, they showered me with horrified questions.
“Are you mad?’
“Are you sad?”
“Are you going to try and get them back together? Like The Parent Trap?”
That last one was clearly from a naïve only child in a loving home. (The Parent Trap is the stupidest movie ever, BTW. Yes, both times.) I heaped scorn on her, of course. “No way! They should never, ever live in the same house AGAIN!” Continue reading The North Polar Bear (#105)
I do a lot of walking in the South Bay area of Los Angeles. There’s always the beach, of course, but they don’t allow dogs. (Spoiler alert: we have a dog now. Yes, there will be future posts involving canine characters.) Also, the beach doesn’t have hills. I like hills. They keep my butt firm. Continue reading Episode #103: Christmas Spirit vs. the Force