Those of us who are divorced and sharing custody know that the holidays are a time of feast or famine when it comes to celebration.
Some years — the feast years — are full of belly laughter and Santa hat wearing and searching for over-the-top light displays and family togetherness.
Some years — the famine years — are spent with lit candles and decorated tables and empty chairs along with copious amounts of wine.
The feast years are literally highlighted by sparkling trees on Christmas morning, snow on the ground and presents awaiting bright-eyed kiddos.
The famine years…more drinking.
So yes, my friends, you may have guessed it: This is a famine year. My children aren’t with me this Christmas, which just seems like an epic gaping hole in the space-time continuum considering the crazy surprise baby and whatnot.
And speaking of the surprise baby…I decided to make a bold move this year to celebrate my famine year.
“Self,” I thought to myself, “It’s time to do something crazy this Christmas. Oh, I know. Since I’ve long since met my $14 million deductible [due to aforementioned surprise crazy baby], let’s go ahead and have an invasive medical procedure right after Christmas and before the end of the calendar year. Because nothing says ‘holidays’ like IVs, bed rest and medical consent forms warning of the odds of impending death that seem far more likely than winning $500 on the slot machine in the grocery store.”
Do I know how to have a fun time, or what?
So yes, I have an empty house. A tree with no presents. Beds with no children dreaming of sugar plums, their eyes all a-glow (which, side note, has always scared the crap out of me. I mean, the only eyes all a-glow on children I’ve ever seen were in terrifying Stephen King flicks).
But I do have consent forms and calls into the insurance company and medical instructions to pore over in advance of my invasive procedure scheduled for December 27. And probably a will to update.
(I may be a bit dramatic, by the way.)
So as I’m reading through these materials, I stumble upon pre-op instructions advising that I must fast before the procedure.
Two days before the procedure.
That means: Christmas day.
Life imitating art, my friends? It’s a feast or famine Christmas, after all. Might as well fast as I’m enjoying my famine.
As usual: You can’t make this shit up.
So I’m doing my best to make the most of it all. Brett and I are celebrating wacky ornaments and Christmas decorations, as we always do.
We took the crazy surprise baby to meet the Big Guy. The one with a face. Who doesn’t smell like beef and cheese.
I’m finding epic ways to hide presents from snoopy teenagers.
And I’m celebrating the cliche that is our crazy surprise baby. Because as the song goes, “All I want for Christmas is…”
…or is it more wine?
So please, my friends, have a wonderful holiday, whether it’s feast or famine. If it’s feast for you, squeeze those kiddos extra tight, and maybe reach out to a friend who’s going through the famine this year.
And if it’s a famine year for you, please think of me, raising a sip of water to you in solidarity.
Oh, and one more thing. Since ’tis the season and all, if you haven’t enjoyed my post Jesus is My Trash Man: A Christmas Story (Sans Secret Ovaltine Message…), please head on over and read it. It occurs to me I have a few more followers since writing this post a few years ago, and it really is a beautiful message about one child’s wide-eyed innocence, one mom’s optimism and one trash man named Jesus.
XOXO to you all. Here’s hoping for peace on earth, good will toward men and an unexecuted will in the New Year.
Told you. Dramatic.