We spent Xmas Eve at our daughter’s house, sharing the evening with her and Ray and Félix the Squirt. For dinner, our sister-in-law and nephew came over. After a nice Xmas breakfast, we went on to my sister’s house, where quite a gathering had assembled: all of the Rubio siblings, including the one from Oregon, partners and friends and extended family. I’ve been under the weather with a head cold, and it wasn’t always easy to keep my energy level up, but I made it through the day. We were happy to get home, though. The only downside was that we didn’t get to see Neal and Sonia, but hopefully that will remedy itself soon … their jobs make it hard to get even Xmas off, and many times, their favorite holiday is one where they can relax.
It is no secret that Xmas is not my favorite time of year. It certainly isn’t the fault of my family. I have the best kids and in-laws and grandson, the best siblings, the best long-time friends in the extended family. But I feel an obligation to put myself on display, and that takes energy, so after a big family holiday, I’m ready to collapse into a cave.
Yesterday, though, I remembered the one Xmas in my life that I spent alone. I was living in Indiana … it was 1971 … and it turned out I spent the holiday alone with our dog. There were some good things about that holiday, mainly that it was my only white Xmas. But I still remember being a couple of thousand miles from the Bay Area, alone on Xmas.
Sometimes I put burdens on myself. It helps to remember the alternatives.
Addendum for those who miss him: