I don't know if it's because of the whole wedding brouhaha, or the lack of Christmas knitting. It could be the social isolation. Not working (and no longer needing to go on job interviews) means that I don't leave the apartment much. It could be that I'm immune to the holiday cheer since our tree was up in November and I've been hearing Christmas songs in stores since October. And no Hanukkah songs. What is up with that? How I am supposed to get in the mood without Adam Sandler?
It could be because the money situation prevented me from buying myself little treats while shopping for presents. (I love the stuff they sell at Holiday fairs, like the ones in Bryant Park, Union Square, etc., but no one who gives me presents shops there, so I usually pick myself up some fancy soap or something.) It could be that I squeezed in shopping along with job interviews. The day I hit the Bryant Park Holiday Fair, I had been to 2 interviews and did the shopping while I was waiting for it to be time to meet my friend for dinner.
It could be that HA is working on a writing project with a tight deadline, so his time for dealing with holiday preparations has been limited. As far as buying each other gifts--we agreed on a dollar amount, e-mailed each other suggestions and did the shopping online.
I've been eating ham and latkes all week--leftover from my parents' Christmas Hanukkah party (that's right bitches, I've been celebrating Christmukkah since before the O.C. ever did), but I'm still not feeling it.
It could be that I'm so caught up in my usual non-holiday to do list that the things I usually look forward to doing are just one more thing to do. Like today. I made 2 of Alton Brown's Free Range Fruitcakes. One for my mom and one for us. We even ate some tonight. Still feeling meh. Maybe I should've been listening to holiday tunes instead of podcasts.
I just smacked myself in the forehead. Because I know! That's it! Eureka and all that!
For the past several years, I've listened to Patrick Stewart performing A Christmas Carol while decorating my tree. (I saw him do it on Broadway back in the day--great stuff.) Since it was a team effort* this year, I didn't put on the CD, so we could talk to each other. If I can find the freaking thing, I'll play it while I wrap the presents or something.
My other holiday tradition is to read A Midnight Carol, a fictionalized telling of how Dickens wrote and published the book. I skipped it this year since when I read it last year, I remembered it so well from the previous year that I didn't enjoy it as much as I'd hoped.
I'll administer the Patrick Stewart and if that doesn't do the trick, then maybe I'll try the Midnight Carol. If that doesn't do it, then I'll put on Handel's Messiah and sing along to the Hallelujah chorus at the top of my lungs.
What do you do to get in the spirit?
* I loathe the phrase "team effort". Said loathing began when I was in grad school and teaching english as a second language for minimum wage. The woman who started the school did so to raise her personal standing in the community. (Part of some master plan to which I was not privy. Maybe she was planning on running for local office.)
She spent months complaining about how she was having to go into selling real estate to make enough money to keep the school afloat, and then went on a week long ski vacation. She made sure that her brother was there to open up every day and collect the student's fees while she was gone, but she didn't bother leaving him any money to pay us.
When she got back, a teacher who was leaving before me asked to be paid and the boss lady told her she'd have to wait another day because she was busy interviewing new teachers. I put my foot down, threatened to quit on the spot if she didn't pay the other teacher. (It don't take long to count out a few bills and write it the fuck down.) She didn't budge and I left my class of 3 students high and dry. And she had to pay me while the interviewees sat there taking it all in. While wearing suits. To interview for a job that paid $5 an hour.
I've mellowed in the intervening years, and wouldn't pitch a fit and just up and quit anymore, but life's too short to work for crazy bitches who have the money to make payroll, but just can't be bothered.
I believe she used the term "team effort" when she was trying to talk me into standing on a freezing sidewalk handing out flyers for the school. For $5 an hour. When I had taken the job because I wanted teaching experience on my resume. And I hated her guts. So yeah, I wasn't going to freezing my ass off to raise her standings in the community. Too bad I don't remember her last name. I'd be interested to google her and see who she's screwing over nowadays.**
**OK, that has to be the world's longest footnote. But sometimes a gal's gotta digress and there's no point trying to hold it in.