Holiday jingles and being single
There are few times I’ve ever felt grateful to have a rather small immediate family – this holiday season is one of them.
I don’t think it quite dawned on me until recently that this will be my first holiday season without Mr. Undecided in a while, well, a few years (which feels even longer since we were friends for six years total). Fortunate for me, there will be no awkward sequence of explanations as to why he’s not present to that one aunt who doesn’t do Facebook, nor will there be any tired condolences.
In my family there are but five of us, all very independent and – honestly – blunt. They know I’m single. They know I know they know. Now let’s eat turkey.
Though S is a bit of a seasonal cynic, I have aged with a growing appreciation of holidays, and a growing appreciation of family.
As a young child, Thanksgiving held less importance to me, but as the only child/grandchild/niece, Christmas was pretty great (from a child’s perspective). As the years went on, my appreciation of Jesus’ birthday morphed. The little details became more important. I can’t tell you everything I ever received off my long Christmas wish lists, but I can remember and miss the gift tags handwritten by my grandfather, which would all hint at the identity of my gifts. For example, I was once given the entire “A Series of Unfortunate Events” book set with a tag which read “To Brittany, From Lemony Snicket.”
I delight in finding a heavy dose of vitamin C (satsuma oranges) along with the chocolate in my stocking, anticipate taking on the responsibility of setting the dining room table for dinner with every possible fork and glass, and revel in the late-night shenanigans that often befall our house when my mother and I are together. The latter usually includes hurriedly erecting and dressing the Christmas tree on Christmas Eve while munching on bowls of Cocoa Krispies cereal and the much needed and inevitable stop at the Prosser Starbucks for peppermint mochas on the way to my grandmother’s house.
Though it may feel odd for now that this is the first holiday season in years that I’ve gotten my family all to myself, it’s also comforting to realize that none of the good parts, the important parts, were lost with Mr. Undecided’s departure. This is the most revealing time in that it goes to show how much I haven’t lost.
That is not to say I don’t value the time we had together for its role in my life, but it’s a great sign that there is something grander to appreciate that will never truly go away – family.
As obnoxious as members of our surprisingly functional family can be, I know there will come a day when I am all that is left and I will greatly miss my grandmother fussing over how much ice is in the water glasses, or my mother’s frantic exclamations (there’s one now) as she attempts to clean for company, or my aunt and father’s knowing looks while the aforementioned women run around like turkeys with their heads chopped off.
I am the youngest of my family, and the only one under 60, so it’s inevitable that one day it will just be me, and if I’m lucky, the new family I create.
I just hope I’m able to make as positive an impression one day as my family has on me. Happy Thanksgiving!