I am new to town, and people here, and friends and family elsewhere, have asked me what I will do for Christmas with a concerned tone. I didn’t want to tell them that I would basically spend it alone, so I hemmed and hawed, and mentioned invitations, which I genuinely had received. But deep in my gut I just wanted to spend Christmas alone. Partly because I can’t afford to go anywhere, and everyone I know has left town, and the other part is to see what it is to be alone on Christmas Eve.
Some friends who did leave town, asked me to cat-sit for them, and that helped me rig the set-up- the perfect excuse from “come by our house”. I must say, I wanted to see what it’s like to be alone, because I have done so many difficult and emotionally challenging things this year that I am sure I can handle a solitary Christmas.
When I arrived to my friends’ apartment, I gradually felt the weight of solitude. No, it was loneliness; solitude doesn’t feel as heavy as loneliness. I went up on the roof to view a reverent Brooklyn, quiet in the early evening, as a gentle storm dropped snow flurries on my face. My friend left me home-made peanut brittle; I made a dinner plate a la España with olives, cheese and artichokes paired with an apple-pear Martinelli’s.
The loneliness didn’t last long. I can’t really feel alone on Christmas knowing that I have so many loved ones who care about me and would take me into their homes in a heartbeat. I can’t consider myself part of the many people who truly don’t have friends and family to share Christmas with. I think on all the fun and raucous Christmas celebrations I have shared in several countries with many loved ones. Last Christmas in Arizona with my family topped it all.
So, I snuggled down with kitties and a few Christmas movies, after reading the Bible story of Christ’s birth and singing a few carols to the cats. (They weren’t impressed). If it sounds pitiful, there are worse things that could befall me. This has been my year of DIY hard stuff, so this can be the cherry on top. I’m going to be bad-ass ready for 2013!
PS- I did accept a few invites for some Christmas Day gatherings, and had a blast. And the cats were happy to see me when I got back. I won’t ever really know what it is to be lonely… sigh…