Ho Ho No
I sat down two hours ago to write my annual what to get for the holidays list, you know those obligatory what to buy everyone on your list who needs nothing blogs. But I had to run down the hill, to the Christmas tree store where I had purchased our tree on Saturday.
Tree, stand, and recyclable bag, $300.00 Merry Christmas Inflation. Bigger tree last year, same place cost $50.00 less. But, hey, it’s the holidays and since we are not going anywhere. Don’t cry for us, we’ve already been to Argentina, though a trip would be nice about now, two years in…..we had one planned. Mexico. I cancelled before Omicron. Something just said, STAYCATION.
Ten minutes ago, my CNN banner announced two more fun countries added to the No Go list. OY. So home we are and a tree I must have.
Blessedly, I did not do what I normally do, which is decorate it right away. I can’t wait. But I let it sit for two days waiting for Taylor to recover from her booster so she could help. And since COVID there seems to be little I can’t wait for. Life is a big waiting room these days.
What is the point of all this, except my scattered prose may give you a window to what it looks and feels like on the inside of my brain. It’s a very unkept room at the moment. Which if you know me is totally out of character. But since the pandemic I put things off. My gifts are not wrapped yet. They are scattered all over my office and then there is the issue of the undecorated tree.
Wally has a habit of peeing on the Christmas tree. I get it. It’s confusing, suddenly a vibrant green tree is growing in the living room. The kind he loves to lift his leg on.
So, the puddles of water at its base I just chalked up to Wally pee. Until this morning when there was a little river and I realized the stand was leaking. Thank heavens we had the recyclable bag under it as it absorbed a lot of the water, until it couldn’t. Thus the puddle.
What is the point of this ramble? I’m not sure I know. Except my day of writing and cleaning up my desk and wrapping gifts ended abruptly as I had to go back to the Christmas tree lot and explain the dilemma of the broken water holder base.
I am a catastrophizer of highest order. So, by the time I got there I was convinced they would not believe me, or care. And I would be forced to either not put lights on the tree and just watch it die or fork over another $300 for the whole package.
But the woman was very nice and gave me free lights and a new recyclable bag. She sent a man off to see if they had one stand left. They were waiting for a shipment.
One of the many COVID battle cries – “waiting for a shipment.” One stand left? The lot was full of trees, what were they going to be put in if there were only faulty stands left? Or none.
I was chatty so she was chatty. I didn’t do my entitled, “how do you expect me to decorate my tree with a faulty stand?” I did my” it’s no ones fault, nothing seems to work these days.”
Then she admitted I was the fifth person to come in and complain of a leaky stand. Which is some Christmas tree stand record. Or at least for this Christmas tree lot.
They are waiting for a new batch as these are faulty. And likely another issue of not having the right parts and chemicals to make things. And enough trucks to get them there and we all know the drill by now.
I was lucky, as they came up with the same version I had last year. One left. They are coming over to redo it in an hour, so the night is saved. I guess.
But, how do we get all jazzed up for the holidays this year? How do I put a list of more stuff together? I don’t.
We need nothing. I need nothing. We need our lives back. And I wish I could wave a magic wand and give you all that. All the things you are still missing and the pieces of your brain that feel like they have been erased over the last two years. The stolen holidays and events and hugs and in room learning and in office schmoozing and the theatre and the bowling alley if that is your jam. The pieces of life we have left behind, and if you are anything like me, you can’t even remember where you put them.
So how do you HO HO HO with the cloud of this still on hanging over us? I don’t know. I wish I did. As I would do it.
California and New York just reinstated indoor mask mandates. I have never stopped wearing my mask indoors. Except for indoor dining. Which I have done. Double vaxed and boosted am I. But now my brain is swirling with what do I do about all the dinner reservations we have made? Will eating inside be over too? Is that not safe now? Are we back to being in the house the whole holiday? How about the five tickets to see our buddy Steve Tyrell. We missed him last year, not this year. NO.
Staying home is one thing, not going out again is another.
Picture me with my head on my desk. OK, I sat up. Is it five o’clock yet? It is in New York. And I am a legal New York resident. No, I don’t drink at three. Not yet. Give me another year like the last two and I might have to reevaluate.
I can give you a little advice on holiday travel having done it last week. I flew in a plane with three dogs. Not exactly a week in St. Barts; But I have some advice on how to handle the airports.
Stay home. OK. You’re going anyway. I get it. You just have to see something new. Or something old in a new place. Or see the same place you like to spend the holidays. Or you really want to see your family as it’s been so long you forgot you really don’t like being around them. Who knows what anybody thinks anymore? Who knows how to think anymore?
That is something I would love for Christmas a sharp mind not clouded with what ifs. But you can’t even find a photo of that on Google.
I will bounce right back to the airports because me staying on any topic for more than sixty seconds is a miracle these days.
The airports are a shit show. Only way to describe it. They are packed. And this was last week, not peak weeks. The staff is thin.And I don’t mean underweight, I mean stretched and cranky for the most part.
At JFK, the bins at security you put your things in are FILTHY.
The guy in front of me blew his nose then put his tissue in the bin he put his computer on. OK for him. But the next guy? The next guy could be you.
Take a big thing of anti-bacterial wipes The kind that come in rolls. I have done this every time I have flown since COVID came to stay. We wiped down every bin we used. And then when the bins reappeared with our things in them, we wiped down every item we took out. We then wiped down our luggage.
I would say do not leave home without those wipes.
Wipe down your seat too. The planes are packed, jam packed. We had to buy an extra seat due to the ark like way we travel with pets. But had we not we would have been smashed next to some stranger.
For me, travel now is just not worth it. Many people working at Jet Blue were not wearing masks. According to the nice woman at Starbucks, who I asked to please ask the man in a Jet Blue shirt to put his mask on as he was blowing on his earbuds and it was all too gross for words, especially at a food place.She said she could only tell Starbucks people what to do. Jet Blue has their own rules. So, expect the airports to have lot so people with masks on their chins looking more like Santa’s beard than a germ guard.
Since I can’t offer solace or advice or even any anecdotes other than the tree and the airport as we don’t go out much still. I will offer up the things I want for Christmas this year. Or the things you may want and cannot get.
And in the meantime, Ho the best you can. Someday things may change. Not sure when. But when they do, we can add the two extra Ho’s. Until then, we are all dashing on a one HO sleigh.