|Rittenhouse Square under snow, circa 2006.|
I’ve been trying in vain to get in the spirit of the season by watching American Horror Story: Asylum, 28 Days Later, and Teeth, but to no avail.
Literary scrooges are portrayed as outward curmudgeons only. Their harsh exterior conceals a softer persona underneath the layers of bitterness. As for me, I think my inner and outer selves are both hardened. Merry Christmas to all, and to all a grouchy night!
Like many people this time of year, I alternate between loving and hating this season of cheer. On the one hand, the stark branches outside are festooned with lights; gingerbread is plentiful; and I love egg nog. On the other hand, I am feeling the pressure to spend a lot of money, an impulse I annually give into. Coming up with original gift ideas to buy for friends and family is no mean feat. After you have kids, this problem is merely compounded; not only is one obligated to purchase presents for the children, but also their caregivers and teachers. I am eternally grateful for their taking my rug rats off my hands to take charge of them in a careful, loving manner, but I could do without the stress of having to shop.
It’s not out of stinginess, but laziness. It’s cold outside, after all. Thank goodness for the Internet: With a few simple keystrokes, I can visit Amazon to buy anything (except, perhaps, an actual Amazonian warrior) for everyone. But eventually I reach my limit—on my credit card, that is, and I’ve now exceeded it with my seasonal generosity. Although I love spending more time with my immediate and extended family, the latter of whom I only get to see once or twice a year, I really just want to be alone. Don’t we all? Would I be content to seclude myself in a cabin tucked away in the dark woods with my faithful hounds Donut and Thelma (RIP) at my side, drinking red wine, curled up in front of a wood-burning fireplace reading back issues of The New Yorker and the Sunday edition of The New York Times? Yes. Yes, I would.
|Sunbathing in January.|