I think I have established that I am waxing nostalgic this year more than most. I'm not sure why that is, although it probably has something to do with (very) empty nest syndrome. The Innocent Bystander is way far away, Number Won Son is back in Dover, (and has to have eye surgery, so he will not be going anywhere sandy through the holidays, praise the Lord and pass the ammunition) and El Juevo is staying with my parents in Gulfport because of school and play rehearsals, which I'll get back to in a moment. It is just me and the birds here in the houseboat, and the house sits empty.
Then there is also the fooking economy. I talked a little bit yesterday about feeling stifled shoppingwise, due to the downturn in my own personal economy, but that was grousing about not being able to shop for myneownself-the IB has enough sense (one of us has to) to have Christmas money put away (as well as bill money-don't start planning our benefit yet). But for some reason, I still have not been able to get it up (my shopping boner). I hear the Christmas Muzak and smell the cinnamon wreaths and see all the decorations, but none of it is inspiring me. Maybe it is economic guilt-I feel bad buying frivolous things when so many people would give their left nuts to be able to spend that money on food or rent.
So I've been bah humbugging in my head. I have made plans four times with both the kids and Dar to put up our Christmas decorations outside (we can't really do anything inside because of the birds) and have managed to weasel out of them (in my defense, I can't find most of the damn things, but Dar has offered to loan me some of hers-so much for my defense, eh?) each time. I've gotten dressed to go shopping then drifted over to the computer and time just disappeared, somehow. But that is all about to change.
For one thing, El Juevo's play, A Christmas Carol, starts tonight. Dar and I will be attending the premier performance tonight, which will be presented in dinner theater format. I am really looking forward to it, as I just can't imagine leaving with the words "God bless us, everyone!" ringing in my ears and NOT having a bit of the Christmas spirit shivering through me. I hope anyone in the area with a little time on their hands will come check it out at Mississippi Gulf Coast Junior College Jefferson Davis Campus tonight through Sunday. All evening performances start at eight. If you are a relatively new member of The Beautiful People, you may want to read a little more about El Juevo here.
The other thing that I feel is SURE to bring on the Christmas spirit needs a little back story if you are not a member of my extended family. As some of you know, my Daddy was in the Seabees, so we moved around a great deal when I was young. Both of my parents and their families are from Ohio, so that was home base, but we were seldom there for Christmas. But no matter where we were, about three weeks before Christmas, a box would arrive in the mail from my paternal grandparents. In it would be a few gifts (mine were usually beautiful little hand sewn dresses that my Grandma Davis had made and I hated because they were dresses but I wore them because I knew she had worked so hard on them) which were set aside to put under the tree we would soon get now that THE BOX had gotten there, but the real treasure in there, the things that got all of our hearts going and the spirit flowing, were the coffee cans. There were always four of them. Three one pound cans and one three pound can. Mom, Jeff and I each got a one pound can, and Daddy got the three pound, "the lion's share" can. They would be taped shut with that old stringy packing tape and it would take each of us ten minutes to peel through all the layers until we could pry off the lids, to reveal what to us WAS Christmas. My Grandpa Davis's homemade peanut brittle, golden and sweet and crispy crunchy peanutty love packed in a tin coffee can, beaten around by the hundreds if not thousands of miles it had traveled to be the pistol shot that officially opened our Christmas season.
Well, Grandpa has been gone for many years now, and the marble slab he poured his candy on is probably buried in the snow somewhere in Barberton. But I went out yesterday and bought four boxes of peanut brittle, one each for Mom and Daddy, Jeffery and me. It won't be the same-no aroma of Folgers, and none of that brittle dust in the bottom of the can mixed with a little coffee grounds that was always the final taste of the year, and certainly none of the love that poofed out when we finally got those lids off. But I'm hoping that at least for me, it sparks a little of that spirit that I've been struggling to capture. Wish me luck!