Home Alone Reflections

I am sitting in a very quiet house with my two dogs nearby, Cordie on the floor beside me and Frankie on the stool four feet away. Ray will return home tomorrow from a work trip to Texas; he is getting the condo in Fort Worth ready to sell.

It is a week before Christmas. I haven’t bought one gift so far. I could potentially go out tonight and buy presents, but that is a bad idea. The evenings before Christmas in Los Angeles are a nightmare with every person who works during the day doing exactly what I would be doing, cramming in his/her shopping between 5:30 and 10. This makes for no fun. Parking problems, tired people problems, too many tired people packed into stores problems. I will not be going out. Best to stay at home and decide what I’m buying. Maybe I still have time to get it online.

I am trying to get into the Christmas spirit. That isn’t coming easily this year. Well, if the truth be told, I have struggled with a bit of the Bah, Humbug for the past several years. Over the years, Christmas has become another major workday for me: cooking, serving a big meal and then cleaning up a very messy kitchen. This year we are not doing that. Instead we are meeting at Sarah’s where we are having a potluck on paper plates. After our meal, we’re just going to put our feet up and watch Christmas movies. Now that sounds like a lot of fun. My family is trying hard to get me to stop making these holidays such a food production. I love to cook and I love to feed people, but I must admit, it’s more fun to keep everything simple and to get everyone to help, at least for these big holidays. Apparently, no one has enjoyed the strained expression that appears on my face as I try to juggle preparation of turkey, dressing, and mac and cheese so they can all arrive hot to the table from a kitchen with only one oven. Alas…we are moving to another phase of life at this point and everyone – including me – is happy about it.

Besides being with my family, my favorite part of Christmas is Midnight Mass. I often serve as an acolyte at this service, which makes it especially special. I get a fabulous vantage point to see the congregation and hear the music, and, let’s face it, St. Thomas the Apostle, Hollywood puts on one heck of an impressive Midnight Mass. The music is glorious and there will be lots of bells and smells (incense). The downside of my serving is that I don’t get to sit with my family. Still, they smile and wave at me during the mass in hopes of making me laugh. That is entertainment in itself.

So, I think I will just enjoy the quiet, maybe work a bit on my novel, and go to bed early. I am picking Ray up from his flight at 8:30 am so that means I need to leave my house by at least 7:30. The trip without traffic can take around 20-25 minutes, but it will be rush hour, after all.

I hope all of you, dear readers, are having a fine Thursday evening. I hope you have done more shopping than I, and that you are all ready for the holidays. If so, good planning!

Take care, my friends. I’ll be checking back in tomorrow.

St. Thomas the Apostle, Hollywood Decorated for Christmas

St. Thomas at Christmas

2 thoughts on “Home Alone Reflections”

  1. Len, my fellow SCN member, Susan Wittig Albert shared this post on Facebook and as soon as I saw the words “Bah Humbug,” I knew I had to read it. You see I’ve been in a sort of “Bah Humbug” attitude the last few Christmases. Family losses, family disputes, no one coming to our house but everyone going to a son or daughter’s house (understandable now that the kids are grown). This year I have my shopping done (gift cards are so easy to mail 2,000+ miles to kids and grandkids) and those that are close we’re handing off to their parents and grandparents. The tree is up, thanks to Husband, and the lights are on because they are permanently affixed. No ornaments as of yet. And a porcelain Dickens type village is up and radiant. But that’s about it, and I’m OK with putting my feet up and letting the rest go. Thanks for a lovely Christmas post. I think St. Thomas is lucky to have you, and you can rest assured I’ll be at a midnight service myself. After all, that’s what’s important, right?

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