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SSar's Beast
My love to everyone during a time of (I hope) peace, love, and other wish fulfilment.

I spent Christmas day cooking, lazing, and hugging Joel. All excellent and familiar. Helen came around at extremely short notice (thanks muchly, Helen) to share Christmas lunch with us, and I made Joel nearly woozy with food. We watched a Christmas movie and played computer games and opened presents. Simple, undemanding, nice, cuddly.

My Christmas tree is a lopsided thing with a curved spine and five ornaments. (One contributed by Helen. You are racking up favours here, woman.) It makes me rueful because I justify the meaningless cutting down of a tree by, firstly, the really beautiful thing that can be made of it, and secondly, the way that all of my best Christmas memories have a Tannenbaum smack in the middle. But this poor tree is a neglected half-hearted thing leaning against the window (despite my best efforts to stand it up) and this genuinely distresses me. Well, I am glad I tried and I will do it better next time.

I am currently with my parents in Auckland. Dad is ignoring me and cutting short my conversational gambits, and is avoiding opening presents as long as possible. Ow. This is awkward, but bearable since I am secure that it's not about me. However, I have spent a lovely few hours catching up with Mum, and we walked into town to see Pip at her work.

I wonder what we'll do next year. It is tempting to think that Joel is not steeped in Christmas and so to brainwash him with Santa, spending and carols would be a cruel reversal of his luck. But my commitment to Christmas isn't based on religion. Nor, it would seem, family, since my parents are all I have on my side of the family, for practical purposes. But I'd like to create a few small traditions, possibly to be enjoyed by my children, and because of how good my memories are and how much I look forward to this. Basically, Christmas is a time of socially-endorsed merriment; time to figure out how to style this merriment to my tastes and avoid too much stress. And I Will Have A Tree.

Although it's not just socially-endorsed merriment but socially-demanded merriment at times. As Helen put it, the message comes across, "You should be happy! WHY AREN'T YOU HAPPY?" and I wonder if that's why Dad's finding it so hard this year. I want to avoid that. I don't think it has to be that way. I think there's no need to see Christmas as an oppressive outside party with its needs. Christmas must be shaped by your own needs if you're to participate at all. I need its familiarity, its lithic build-up of layers of stories.

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I did find it very pleasant. You ultimately did good with Christmas.

And a certain package is in a certain mailbox.

Awww. Thank you. And I see you are a proficient dispatcher. Thanks.

I thought it was great old time we had. As you beloved says you did good. Thanks again for having me.

I'm really glad you enjoyed yourself, I was most pleased that you came.

None of this fake "tree" stuff like we have here.

Merry xmas, and I'm glad you enjoyed yourself.

I did! Did you have fun, or at least get nice presents?
Trees are wonderful.

I had fun, and it is nice to see the family etc,
not much has changed here but the scenery is still pretty :D

Still, I'm looking forward to returning on monday.

Aww, there's something endearing about strange trees though. I haven't had a live tree since I was a kid (and my mother figured out what gave me migraines in December) and I kinda miss then. Not the blinding pain, but the smell and the tradition.

we had a live tree in 2002.

A tiny live tree. That shed everywhere.

Which must not have made me ill, since I have no memory of it. Which is all good stuff.

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