I will never write an obligatory christmas blog

Oops.

I’ve started writing this at 12:00 (California time). Happy christmas, all. I have almost no family. Haha. My old days consisted of a very busy day. Morning was present time. Afternoon was my aunt and uncle time (also some cousins). My grandma would show up and there would be more present time. (And family time, but really, for kids you just sit off to the side playing with new toys.) Then fun time was interrupted by too-much-food dinner time. Most of the food was strange garbage food, so I ate some turkey or something and forty rolls. People talked all day. Some laughs were had (by not me). My mom, dad, and brother were around all day. Of course, I grew up and became angsty and obnoxious. And the day started to change. My grandma died. One less person. My cousins got old and moved away. Three less people. My aunt and uncle moved to another state. Two less people. Presents were less play inducing. Still had my mom, dad, and brother. My brother, and later, I, moved away for school, but returned every christmas.

Tonight I sit in my childhood home nearly alone. My (other) grandma hurt herself a few days ago. In response my dad and brother went down to her house to help her get through her injuries. That leaves my mom and me.

Tomorrow, I will wake up, give my mom her present, open a few myself, with very little fanfare. The mood will be strange. It’s unavoidable. I won’t see my dad or brother. It will be quiet and simple. The festivities will be short and not very festive. It will be nice, don’t get me wrong, but it will be sad. Today I went to my friends house were a party was raging. People were drinking (old, gross people). People were talking too loud, laughing too much, and crowding me. It wasn’t bad. Even at our most busy, my days were never like that. My family is small. My relatives are spread out or hated or unknown. It was funny coming home to almost the exact opposite atmosphere. A loud house full of family and friends, to a house with just my mom. I don’t mind the quiet. I don’t mind muted atmosphere.

Will you be spending your day with family and friends? A party or a large dinner? Will it be a quiet day with only a few people?

I’ll enjoy my day but I will miss my dad and brother (and my hurt grandma who usually makes the trip).

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I will never write an obligatory christmas blog

Thanksgiving

We are a few hours away It’s Thanksgiving here in California. I am alone in my apartment. It’s difficult to avoid thinking about the past in these situations. And since I will be driving to my parents house tomorrow, this is likely my only chance to write some words down.

My history with Thanksgiving isn’t fun for me to recall. It should be. When I was a kid, I spent every Thanksgiving at my grandma’s house. (My grandpa on that side died when I was a few months old. I’m told he liked me very much. I’m not sentimental towards family – though this post might suggest otherwise – but I am always disappointed I don’t get to have any memories of him. What I know of him is fascinating, and I’m sure it would have been nice to have him around during my childhood.) My family (mother, father, brother) essentially would wake up and leave for my Grandmas. My uncle and aunt would be there too, and very rarely, their children. I hate my cousins so I was always happen when they weren’t there. As for my memories of the day itself, I have a few, but almost none of my grandma. She would get everything ready, while my brother and I, and later just I, would run around playing. I have memories of playing board games with invented rules, and playing with hot wheels in the garage. They were nice times, but not much to look forward to, and I always complained about being forced to go. (Similar story for Easter, with a worse outcome that I will always regret.) I could have enjoyed myself more. I could have appreciated my grandma and parents. But I wanted to have more fun, or I wanted to be left alone, depending on the year. I rarely ever had an extended conversation with my grandma. Then she died when I was 12. It was really hard for me at the time because I felt I wasted my chance to get to know her. She was the first death I had to deal with. When I was a little younger my great grandma died, but I had only seen her once. I really didn’t know who she was and her dying didn’t force me to deal with what death actually meant. When my grandma died my whole world was redefined to include the concept of people never being around again. Someone can stop existing. Have fun explaining that to a child. That was tough for my little brain. And it was tough to shoulder that sort of regret and guilt.

The following years, Thanksgiving was a nonevent. I was moving into my especially confused teen years and we had nowhere to go, anyway. My brother soon moved out to go to college. For a few years, I didn’t even see him on Thanksgiving. When I was 17 and 18, I spent Thanksgiving completely alone. I had a few options, but they weren’t attractive to me and I decided to spend the day in my self-inflicted melancholy. One night, I ate at Jack in the Box on Thanksgiving night. All alone. Luckily, I had nice friends stop by to check on me later that night. Man… I really put them through a lot.

Eventually, I moved out of my parents house to go to college and definitely not to fuck about in a rock band… When I was serious about school again, I started going home more regularly and things got a lot better between my parents and I. A new Thanksgiving tradition-esque started.

In less than 10 hours I’ll be heading home to see my parents and my brother. I don’t have much extended family so that’ll be about it. We’ll talk about what I’m doing with my life. I’ll try to quickly move the conversation forward. We’ll talk about what my brother is doing. My mom will probably piss him off by asking too many questions. My dad will talk to me about science.

It’s a little strange not having a huge deal on Thanksgiving. I’ve been to friends places and there’s always 10-30 people. Extended families and family friends. Huge tables, gross amounts of food, and way too much noise. My day is almost like a regular dinner for most. Calm and fairly quick. Nothing like my friends or portrayals on tv.

I’ve rambled for FAR too long.

If someone makes it this far, amazing! For being such awesome readers, I’ll leave you the option of directing me to a band/song you love. And I promise I will listen to the song (or check out the band).

Thanks. Bye.

Thanksgiving

Rude Comments About Holidays

Thanksgiving is in a few days for us Americans(!!!!!!!!!). The spirit behind the day is… who cares, really. It’s a holiday set up on an odd premise that everyone knows about but tries to forget because thinking about the people occupying this land before we, soon to be, Americans showed up and slaughtered them all to the point that they are so marginalized that most people forget of their very existence for about 11 months of the year, isn’t the most fun thing to think about. Now we have all their land only to become creepily xenophobic, when not flat out racist – love it or leave it. AMERICA! – and we spend our day, and week, remembering to give thanks. Something feels off.

It’s rare for a holiday to matter anymore. They’ve all lost their original meanings and are simply about spending time – if you are lucky enough to be a student and/or receive vacation days – with the people you love. The Winter Solstice isn’t so much the point anymore. (What’s that? People think it was about something other than the winter solstice? Weird.) Easter is about Bunny Eggs and chocolate (wait, what the fuck is that holiday about?). And now Thanksgiving is turning into Black Friday Eve, though somehow Black Friday starts on Thursday. But is it really that bad? Consumerism and wah wah wah, but we buy shit anyway, especially when the next month is Consumer-mas and I need to validate my relationships with other people in the form of material goods. It all depends, again, on how YOU choose to experience the day. For the last 4 or 10 years, I’ve gone out with my parents on Black Friday and picked up a few awesomely cheap movies and tv shows, as well as other random items. One year I got a camera, another I got an electric drum set and another I got a coffee maker for relatively cheap. All stuff I was looking for for some time, and had an opportunity to get at a decent price. Plus, record stores are now taking part in Black Friday so we get some special – though expensive – releases. Most aren’t my thing, but occasionally I get a rad new record. It doesn’t HAVE to be waiting in line for 10 days. People choose to take part in that. If that sounds terrible to you, then show up a few hours after the doors open and stroll through picking out what you want. Maybe the big ticket item will be sold out, too bad, but as conscious, thinking human beings we get to weigh the pros and cons and come to the conclusion that the wait wasn’t worth the price. Easy. Or, if it disgusts you that much, don’t go. Maybe there are some statistics out there, but I’d like to know how many Thanksgivings black friday actually ruins. Maybe you know hundreds of people who used to sit down with their family on Thanksgiving and enjoy a nice dinner with boring American Football (not the band) until Black Friday started and ruined their day. But I don’t. My guess is that those who are super insane about Black Friday and the types that didn’t have tons going on anyway. I know plenty of people who still sit down with the family. Have a lovely day of food and… forced conversation with extended family or family friends or significant other’s family. (Because we all love recapping what we’ve been up to lately to all those people we see 3 times a year and whose names escape us, right?). After all that catching up, who doesn’t need a new 90′ TV?

I’m checking amazon for their deals just after thinking about all the joy I’m about the experience.

Honestly, I love the holiday’s. I get to see my family, and my brother who lives a decent ways away. I pretty much only see him a handful of times a year. I get to sit down and feel like a kid again for a few days. The holiday’s themselves blend together. Their isn’t much meaning in them beyond that chance to relax and forget most of the chaos surrounding everyday life. A lot of my friends return home as well, and it’s a reunion of sorts. I enjoy that.

Rude Comments About Holidays