A Holiday Dedication

Something very strange happened last week. I decided to embrace the "holiday season". Usually, I'm a total grump around the holidays and can't stand the constant fuss and having to decide who to visit when and who to stay with and where to eat dinner, and blah, blah, blah. Usually, my secret for a happy holiday season is to spend Thanksgiving snowboarding and Christmas out of the country, preferably surfing in Costa Rica. It's worked in the past, and it was a marvelous pair of holidays.

But this year is different. The combined lack of fresh snowfall last week and my newly-developed penchant for being a powder snob forced Kristin and I to stare the turkey in the eye and cook dinner for ourselves. Last year was one of the worst snow-seasons on record in the northwest and we spent Thanksgiving at home then too. The two of us were in our new house, vegetating on the couch in front of the television with a buffet-style spread of snacks, cheeses, and dips positioned all around us. It was easy, relaxing, and fun. And probably disgusting to anyone who may have seen it. And we would have done it again if not for Paragraph 15 of Section E, Lines 5 through 12 in the Patriot Act requiring for all citizens to cook a turkey for Thanksgiving at least once every 5 years, for fear of deportation. And although there is a clause exempting families containing vegan head-of-household, we didn't qualify. So we cooked the turkey.

Like I said, something strange happened. I decided to welcome the idea of having a traditional Thanksgiving dinner. I actually got excited about it. I spent Monday night picking out recipes, and then most of Tuesday grocery shopping, at which time I bought enough food for a small army -- another requirement outlined in the Patriot Act. This rule was hand-drafted by the President himself, and is known by his initials as the G.W. Rule. You may have heard of it referred to as the Gluttonous Wallowers of America rule, in which all Americans are required to purchase at least 5 pounds of food for every one person attending their feast. Well, I obliged. Again, as nice as British Columbia is, I'd like to remain a citizen of this country.

And as the hours ticked by, I got ever-more excited. I spent most of Wednesday cleaning the house and cooking pumpkin soup, apple-cranberry pie (from scratch, beotch!), and my personal favorite, pumpkin pie. Then on Thursday, Kristin cooked the turkey while I made a really awesome cranberry, apple and sausage stuffing and, a deserty praline sweet potato casserole, and, well, you get the idea. We gorged on great food. And I was happy.

Later that night, while flipping through the newest issue of Seattle magazine, I had a revelation. This year we would spend Christmas at home for the first time in the 8 years that we've been married. We would decorate, we would have gifts under the tree, and not only that, but we would spend the entire month getting in the spirit. And I don't mean by shopping. While flipping through the magazine, I realized that there were dozens and dozens of very spirited plays and events and shows that we could attend to really enjoy the season. To make the most of it for the entire month. As corny as that sounds.

And, yes, we are going to do some shopping (starting today, as I refuse to acknowledge Christmas before December 1st) but we're also going to do something different each and every week to take advantage of what's out there. When I was a kid, we would go into Manhattan in December and see the Christmas sights. And although the trip was always a big tease -- going to Rockefeller Center and not ice skating, going to F.A.O. Shwartz and not getting a new toy, etc., etc., -- it was fun and helped make the season a little nicer. I want to recapture that feeling again. And so we will. But, fortunately, by not having to go to New York.

So each week I should be posting about something we did with a nod towards Christmas and I'll let you know whether or not it helped get me in the spirit, or if it just plain sucked. Being that everything I have in mind is at least partially reliant on other people, the chances of sucking are always a distinct possibility. But I'm keeping an open mind.

For now.

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