[Originally written on this date in 2004]
Last year around this time, I was still living with my mom but visiting you-know-who. We saw his father and that part of his family, but did nothing the following day. In previous years, we had visited his father on this day and his sister and mother the next day, which was certainly interesting on a number of levels. Though I was nervous the first time, I came to feel quite comfortable doing that, as it was better than hanging out with those so-called relatives I have but don’t really associate with.
The days of actually having a joyous holiday are long gone, harbored as fun-filled memories that leave me wondering what happened. This year I was determined to fill that void by spending the ‘holiday’ with Jon, seeing as how he is the only thing that really matters in my life at the moment. Going to see my mom would have been weird and I am sure I would wind up feeling annoyed. My dad couldn’t figure out what he wanted to do so I did not make any plans to visit him either. Though I would not have minded getting to see my sister, it is quite a distance to drive.
Or I could just be honest and say that I just wanted to spend the time with someone I felt would truly appreciate it. Though I am living with very nice people, I have no attachment to their traditions and whatnot, so it would have been awkward to hang around with them. Instead I just let them know I would be gone for a few days, packed some things and drove to what seems to be my favorite place in the world at the moment. The house smelled like bacon, chocolate, mint and pine, the earthy scent of a joint breaking through and luring me into the living room.
Jon was wearing an atrocious sweater that was definitely purchased at Goodwill, his favorite pair of patched up pants and a red velvet smoking jacket. He smiled and scooped me up into a hug while smothering me in kisses, then we feasted on tasty treats while watching movies on television.
Over the next few days we became immersed in the holiday spirit by covering the house with notable traditional Christmas characters. Definitely enjoyed doing what may seem like a simple task, as it has been quite some time since I had a house to decorate, and I got that warm fuzzy feeling inside. There was much drinking of eggnog, baking sugar cookies in the shape of genitals that sent us into fits of hysteria and stealing kisses under the mistletoe.
When night came we bundled up, downed some vodka and hot chocolate, then wrangled ourselves into the Chevy where we had to wait a good fifteen minutes for it to warm up. Then we are traveling down winding roads and Jon has a smile on his face though I have no idea what is going on. He pulls over to the side of the road, keeps the engine running and tells me he will be right back. After fumbling in the trunk for a moment, he disappears for what feels like forever. Apparently I took a nap, because I am startled when he taps on the window. Rolling it down, he is now grinning from ear to ear with a pine tree by his side. Before I can even ask, he has it tied to the roof and is speeding towards the house.
Music surrounded us while lights and garland were strung around the tree, pausing for kisses while carefully arranging the ornaments among piney branches. Though neither of us really buy into the commercialism of Christmas, nor do we really invoke religious connotations with our celebrations, there are certain traditions we both enjoy taking part in, and having fun with someone you love is possibly the best thing I could ever want on a holiday.
The following day began with strong cups of peppermint tea and card exchange. While we didn’t get the same one [as we thought may happen] it was horribly ironic that they did both have ‘To the One I Love’ written on the outside. There were stockings filled with candy, socks and coal but no actual presents because that is not what Christmas is about for us. Plus I have the best gift in the world, so what I else could I ask for?
After stuffing our faces with pancakes, we got dressed and then departed for Sandy Hook. Since our day technically began well after noon and there was no rush to do anything, we arrived at the beach just as the sun was setting. That pretty much set the perfect romantic scene, despite the fact that it was brutally cold. Gloved hands awkwardly fumbled and then gripped one another as we walked along the beach and just listened to the sound of the waves. It not longer mattered what day it was or what other people were doing, because I was with my best friend and could enjoy the crunch of his boots on frozen sand. We walked so long that we came across the lovely houses of Ocean Grove and decided it would be best to walk back to the Chevy.
Hunger soon set in and the challenge of finding a place that was open on that festive day began. Thank the Chinese for ignoring this over-glorified, wallet-reducing holiday. We happily filled our bellies at the first buffet we came across and then wearily returned to his house. Decided that watching appropriate holiday themed movies would be overkill and stumbled across upon Finding Nemo instead. Jon suggests that we turn it into a drinking game and pulls out a jar of Jersey Devil’s Reserve, stating that he had been saving it for a special occasion. We were drunk ten minutes into the film and made an attempt to sober up by smoking a blunt. Passed out on the couch and missed the remainder of the movie, but that did not matter.
This may have been one of the best holidays I’ve had in quite some time, and hopefully the start of a new tradition.