Friday, December 15, 2006

now, 100% more depressing!

I got my first Christmas present of the year last night. A client gave it to me. The old social-services rule used to be that staff couldn't accept *anything* from clients. Not a soda, not a piece of gum, not even a drawing they made for you themselves. Nothing. That was a pretty harsh rule and it hurt people's feelings. Fortunately the rules have changed a little and we're allowed to accept things of nominal value, especially if they're homemade.

The woman who gave me this gift is talented and crafty (not in a Beastie Boys kind of way, but in a Martha Stewart's grandma kind of way) -- she spends most of her days sewing really incredible little odds and ends out of old clothes and blankets and she gives almost all of it away. All month, she's been leaving little packages, wrapped with brown paper from grocery bags, all over the workplace, under the tree, in stockings, on tables, for anyone to find and take. She's really cool.

Last night she came up and slipped me one of those little packages. It had red ribbon around it and reindeer drawn all over the brown paper. It's such a perfect little present, just the right size and so quaintly wrapped, I suddenly wished I had a Christmas tree at home to put it under. I haven't really celebrated Christmas since I left home at 18. I gave gifts and stuff. Sent cards. But, on my own, I never developed any Christmas rituals or adhered to any family traditions. I haven't gotten trees or accumulated Christmas decorations. I haven't done much of anything, besides listening to a casette of Christmas songs played on the mountain dulcimer. And I don't even know where the tape is anymore.

Christmas is depressing, for a lot of reasons. My life is in a weird, school-induced limbo. I live alone, thousands and thousands of miles away from my family in a tiny basement hovel. Things with the girlfriend are deteriorating again. I don't even have a pet. My family members all seem to die in December. It sucks. I imagine putting a little three foot tree on top of the trunk against the far wall of the hovel, but if I did, it would just be an opportunity for self-pity. I'd sit in front of it with it's one little brown present and whatever decorations I could scrape together, and probably cry into my eggnog. It would be pretty depressing. So maybe I'll pass again this year. And, you know, maybe next year will be better.


Blogger stumptown dreamer said...

lucky you! a gift from belladonna:-)
i have been admiring her unbelievably detailed sheep adorning the tree at work.... have you looked at those things?? unbelievable how detailed their little faces are and the positions of their legs and everything. pockets and all those are the best tree decorations i have ever seen.

good hanukkah to you
light a candle tonight, i will light one for you also


3:08 PM  
Anonymous Rhea said...

I'm sorry December is a hard time for you. I would recommend making believe you are Jewish just for this month. It could relieve some of the pressure to be happy.

3:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Remember that everything passes, pain and joy. Grab the joy and dismiss the pain as fleeting.

10:29 PM  
Blogger Dharma said...

This time of year is so challenging for most of us. I have no hard and fast traditions and TGF used to, the problem is blending my jewish/pagan/buddhist leanings for her catholic/baptist/jewish in name only background. If you were going to be in town on Thursday, I'd tell ya to stop in for the chanukah party.

10:01 PM  

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