Christmas tends to be an invisible holiday for us. Christmas isn't a "my family is your family" sort of occasion. No one invites non-relatives to Christmas dinner, not like they do for Thanksgiving, so we spend it alone, since there's no family near. We do mostly what we'd do on any weekend: sleep in, eat junk food, watch movies, read, with the added bonus of a few new toys with which to play. It puts us a little at odds with the rhythms of everyone else's holiday, since everyone else tends to have an intensely social, relative-heavy day. We get a bit wistful at the end of every year, first for Thanksgiving (although the family in Valparaiso substitutes nicely for our own), and then for Christmas. Wouldn't it be great to be home for Christmas?
Except, you know, it wouldn't. I'm too old to make that 12-hour drive over the mountains in the snow between Catherine's parents' and my parents' homes. I'm too fragile to spend time with my family, I haven't even recovered from our visit in August. Not at all, really, making this a record-length period of licking my wounds. It's easy to idealize when you're 2000 miles away, you can imagine all sorts of things. But if you do, and you let yourself believe them, you're only going to be disappointed if you try to make them come true.
At any rate, I just need to box up the presents for my mom and dad, and I can give into this head cold. I've mailed all the rest of the presents, and I'm about 1/2 way through the Christmas/Winter Solstice/New Year's/sorry-I-know-Hanukkah-isn't-a-major-Jewish-holiday-but-I-can't-leave-you-out-of my-holiday-thoughts cards. I'm ahead of last year, anyway.
I hope someone gives me warm socks for Christmas because I really need them.