I have taken a few days off of writing. I have sat around doing precious darn little the last few days.
Christmas came and went. If not for Patricia, I would likely not bother with it, but I have to admit, it was nice to look over at the tree the last few days. Patricia picked out a lovely one, and she did a great job decorating it. I feel like a jerk for not doing more to make the tree look purty, but I was cleaning up around the house while she was making the tree look nice.
I wasn't at all sure what to get Patricia for the holidays. She had dropped enough hints about one thing that I would have had to be even dumber than I normally think I am to have missed them. So I got her the "five visit" card to Hands on Halifax, so she can practice using power tools. I had already bought her a Halifax-based cat calendar, so I taped that card in the January page.
I bought her a couple other gift cards and stuffed them in the calendar to keep everything in one place. Before I knew it, I had four of five gift cards there.
Then, it dawned on me.
A calendar has... 12 months in it, right? Why don't I... buy a total of 12 gift cards and tape them inside this calendar?
The following weeks, usually on pay days, or when I got a cheque from my Frank work, I would go buy several cards. As recently as this past Friday, when we went to the Halifax Shopping Centre, when Patricia went off to get something for me at a store, I dashed into the David's Tea outlet and got her a gift card. I was gonna get her a gift card at the Starbucks, but there wasn't time. I noticed there was a Second Cup coffee place across from the David's Tea, so I went there and got her a gift card. I was emerging from the store as Patricia was returning to where she had left me 10 minutes earlier. I nonchalantly approached her and we went off to have lunch in the food court, her none the wiser.
I taped each of the 12 gift cards in the calendar, and wrapped the whole thing, and presented it to her on Christmas morn. She was quite pleased.
She got me a bottle of rum from a Halifax distillery, a small bottle of Kraken rum, a portable hard drive that will soon be added to my media server. It is a 5TB drive, so it should last me until a week from Friday before it is full. She got me a lanyard, which I will probably use for my archive visits. It has Deadpool on it. She got me a Subway giftcard. Some undergarments. A couple Michael Connolly novels. Some stuff I use after I shave. Some stuff you add to yogourt and sour cream to make flavoured dip.
We spent the rest of the day watching tv and eating. We were lucky. The power flickered a couple of times, and the power went out for maybe 20 seconds, but we were not among the 150 000 customers who lost power, and had to throw out their turkeys. Felt perhaps a bit guilty.
Boxing Day, we slept in. That did not keep me from taking a long nap in the afternoon. We spent a few hours last night watching the final season of "Longmire". This evening, we watched through episode eight, of ten. We will really miss the show a lot.
Today, we stayed in. Too cold to go out to brave the Boxing Week sales, and we don't want to spend the money, anyway.
Tomorrow, I have some plans for the morning. I will tell you about them tomorrow night.
So, Christmas is over. I have heard repeatedly, mostly from cash-strapped parents, that the holiday is for kids. I have no children. "Just" a family of Patricia and Newbie and yours truly. The holidays have meant much, much less to me since I lost my parents. I wanted to buy them decent prezzies every year as a way to return the favour to them for all the sacrifices they made for us when we were growing up. Now that they are gone, and I am estranged from my siblings, the holidays mostly mean a few days off work, some decent food, and lots of rest. Better than nothing, but nothing like what the days once meant to me.
Is it a little sad? Maybe. But maybe it is just a sign that life is slowly slipping away, that there are fewer years ahead of me than there are behind me, and the things that once were important to me, are much less so today. (I mean, do you care as passionately about the things you once cared about, 30 years ago, or even ten? I don't.)
In the coming weeks, I will be making some changes in my life that I think are for the better. These are decisions that I have been postponing for too long, It is foolhardy to hold on to the past for the sake of the present, or the future. I will share those decisions with you once they have been made, and once the irrevocable consequences of those decisions are set in motion.
I need to get up early tomorrow morning. Yes! I know! I'm on vacation and getting up early. Shame on me.
See you tomorrow.