We didn't get a tree this year.
For the first time in our marriage, no tree. Nothing. Well, maybe the first year we were married, but I seem to remember the 2 person dining table in our Beverly MA kitchen having a table top tree. But that could be from another house.
With Doug being out of work, money isn't that big an issue (finally) because I am bringing in some decent cash. Ask me how we're doing in three months, though.
He's just been distant, almost siloed, since October. When I try to talk to him or plan things, he gets aggravated and makes a face at me. The face our friend Christopher Kelly once called "the Constabrow" like he's trying to concentrate and poop and process the gibberish coming out of my mouth all at the same time.
I've found it easier to just not suggest things, or talk to him about things, because I sometimes always seem to pick the wrong time to "spring" things on him, and every time is the wrong time.
So we've been quietly dancing around each other for weeks.
He said "Christmas kind of snuck up on us..."
Well, maybe you. But not me. It made me kind of sad to not have a tree, but to be honest, right now I'm happy to not have to put it all down.
If I really wanted to, I could have taken Geoff and gotten a tree like we did last year. But I just didn't feel like it. Lately, I feel like the Little Red Hen who takes care of all the duties while others are distracted or don't feel like it, or are otherwise occupied, so I just didn't do it.
The only thing I did was buy each kid one thing they would like for Christmas, get Jess a decently priced airline ticket, and encourage Doug to commit to going up to Massachusetts to help her secure a car since her Subaru was not going to pass inspection at the end of the month.
Mission accomplished on all three fronts.
I also just bought (after Christmas but still covering the holiday) airline tickets for Jess to come down in January, Guster tickets (2 nights in DC for her and me to enjoy), and Geoff told me that he wants Judas Priest tickets for May. Which surprised me and I'm kind of glad that I didn't go buy the 4 day pass to Maryland Death Fest that he hinted at maybe wanting.
In my not doing anything, I did manage to put up lights, and make it feel somewhat hygge in the house while he was in Massachusetts last weekend.
So I semi-Little Red Henned it. But that's about it.
Since the kids have been bigger kids, I've totally tailed off on doing a lot for the holidays. But even when I did stuff for the holidays it wasn't like a big bombastic over the top deal. We never really decorated outside. I would put a garland of green and some bows out on the fence at the brown house. Lights in the window in the living room, but nowhere else. We usually kept white fairy lights up year round because watching TV with those on and the fireplace going is just as lovely at Christmas as it is in March.
I have friends who put more than one tree up. And in November, sometimes earlier, they start with putting up lights on the exterior of the house.
That's never been my style. A couple presents, sometimes not even wrapped (my inner semi-environmentally responsible soul finds wrapping paper completely offensive sometimes), an let's all just have a really nice dinner. That's my style
That's the definition of Slacker Christmas.
We hosted Doug's aunt and cousin this year again, they live over in Virginia. It was a nice time of fellowship. We watched Santa Claus vs. the Martians and a badly dubbed Mexican movie about Santa vs. the Devil. Doug's aunt didn't care for either but his cousin seemed genuinely entertained.
We're getting ready to take Jess to the airport, and I'll miss her. I like having her around. I'm happy to spend all her Christmas money on airfare bringing her to visit. And I do feel like I need to go back up there for a visit, but I feel like when I do go back there it is always because someone is dead or someone got hurt. Well, no - my cousin got married and that was nice. And I did go to Boston to see Guster in January, so there was something good.
2018 wasn't as weird as 2017. But it wasn't awesome. Maybe 2019 will be?