One inadvertent side effect of not working right now is that there is a slight lack of excitement about the upcoming holidays. Without any daily decorations to remind me and vacation days to look forward to, I seem to be missing some holiday spirit. My boys and I are lucky enough to be going somewhere warm in a couple of weeks with some far-flung family members, but we'll be gone for the entire holiday period. Being a good Jewish girl we usually get all loud and proud with our Hannukah menorah and latke eating. Since we'll be traveling this year, we've got nothing. Add that to the 60 degree weather here and it's really hard to remember that it's December.
I keep looking for Christmas trees in people's windows. There really aren't that many-why not?? Man, I love Christmas trees. When I was a kid, I was sooooo jealous of friends that got to have them. I spent twenty minutes the other day watching a tree trimming party that was taking place about a block away from my house. It seemed like a bunch of pre-teens, hanging ornaments, placing the lights just so, drinking hot chocolate and debating the merits of team Edward vs. team Jacob. I was all caught up in my daydream about being 12 again when I noticed someone noticing me staring at the group through the window while my dog waited to continue with our walk. Awkward.
Yesterday a friend asked me what I was getting Mr. Schneed as a gift. I honestly had no idea what she was talking about for a few seconds. We've been on a little gift-giving hiatus for the past couple of Hannukahs, though last year I did present him with a (relatively) brand new baby boy. I'd like to think this was because we both feel so enriched by our daily love for each other that we don't need any additional presents, but really it's because we are lazy. Lazy and indecisive. I try to only buy my husband things (I think) he either needs or wants and always manage to miss the mark slightly. Our garage is like a bodega of failed gifts. At least he can't bring himself to throw them out, though at this point we might as well hold onto the boogie board (he once said he liked to boogie board...I didn't hear the "as a kid" part). As evidenced by the gift certificates that he's bought me for every anniversary, birthday, etc. for the past five years, my husband is clearly scared to pick anything out for me.
Lately I have been hearing so many scary stories that really make me feel grateful to be alive, healthy and loved. Maybe a little generosity for ourselves and others will be just the thing to get us feeling a bit more merry. I'm thinking a food theme would be a safe bet for all the Schneeds this year--for my old man, for his ball and chain, and for our wee one.