Get Your Kicks in 2006

Happy 2006 to everyone out there! I trust that your holidays were good ones, and that you’re all tan, rested and ready for the year to come.

No? Me neither.

I’m not saying the Christmas break wasn’t a good one. It had more high points than low ones. It’s just that getting back to the things I ignored in the last month of 2005 is leaving me less than excited. The last weeks of December were spent in a mad dash to design family calendars for our two famlies featuring pix of the kids (not just mine but all the brothers’ and in-laws’), getting out Christmas cards (which of course have to be homemade, b/c my kids love to draw and everyone now expects such personalized items), doing last-minute shopping, getting year-end finances together, and various other nagging projects. Thank heaven I’m not employed–I’d be out on my ass in an instant.

Gee, you think THAT’s the reason I haven’t had a book out in a couple years?

Then, throughout the holiday, two things wore me down: weather and guests. December gave Chicago a record amount of snowfall and about three weeks of subzero weather. Great! thinks I. When we get up to Michigan, that means lots of sledding, cross country skiing, and skating on our lake.

Of course, it wasn’t meant to be. I just didn’t think 10 days of 38 degrees and no sun would leave me feeling like I need electroshock just to carry on a conversation.

And as much as I love my family, this time we had way too much of everyone. From the 24th to the 1st, we had approx. 12 hours in which we weren’t hosting people or at a reception or party of some kind. My mom would answer my complaint sarcastically as follows: “Ooh, it’s hell to be popular.” Said sarcastically, to underscore my lack of popularity as a kid. At least she wasn’t among the people we were hosting.

During the week, I’m a complete troll. Work in the basement all day. Maybe go out once a week, pass some pleasantries, then back to my cave. If it’s possible to groom yourself for agoraphobia, I might have the system down. So seeing so many people in such a short time might be something I need, but it’s strong medicine.

On the plus side of the vacation: Seeing my son so incredibly happy to get a Nerf weapons system that’s the size of a European car, seeing my daughter so happy to get a new American Girl doll (she wanted the Gilded Age one, because nothing sad happens during her story), seeing a few old friends in from Los Angeles, decorating our perfect Frasier fir with homemade and paper ornaments, seeing “King Kong”, not having to watch both the Wolverines and the Bears lose this week, and drinking lots and lots of scotch, port, beer and wine.

Doesn’t the phrase “Nerf Weapons System” sound like an oxymoron?

Here’s to a good new year. We sure could use one.

My calendar tells me that today in Scotland and New Zealand, it is officially the “Day After New Year’s Day”. I’m glad they have that all settled.