It’s after 5:30PM in Madison as I write this, and my Christmas Day 2017 was… rather lonely. For the second year in a row, my family had our annual Christmas get together and gift exchange on a day other than Christmas Day. Last year, it was on New Year’s Eve. This year, it was last Saturday, the 23rd. So, my Christmas Day was spent working on the computer and sending an important (for me) e-mail; exercising in the gym at work at midday; cleaning house in the afternoon; and writing this post in the evening. Yeah, I tend to live the exciting life, don’t I? (Note the sarcasm there.)
As noted, at least I met up with family 2 days ago, and it was rather enjoyable for several reasons. First, of course, is that I got to see my family: Both my sisters, their daughters (aka my nieces), their husbands, and my mom. Sadly, Little Sis’ stepdaughters weren’t able to come; one was with their mother, the other is serving our country overseas in the Armed Forces.
I also got to see my stepfather, who at the beginning of this month was in a hospital in Toledo, Ohio being treated for a stroke. Thankfully, he is doing quite fine and was in relatively good spirits during our get together. Aside from a tiny spot on the left side of his neck, along with another surgical scar I didn’t notice but some of the others did, you visually couldn’t tell Dad had a carotid endarterectomy. What I did also see, thanks to photos on my sister’s phone, was the plaque build-up the doctors removed from the vein in Dad’s neck. Wow, was there a lot of junk in there, so much so that it left nothing a hole around the diameter of one of those sticks you stir your drink with to allow blood to flow up to Dad’s brain. Yikes! Now, in addition to refraining from doing anything strenuous, Dad must completely swear off of caffeine and tobacco of any kind. We wish Dad had quit that stuff sooner, but we’re glad there was an angel looking after him, as my reverent mom put it.
And, of course, being the dutiful and mostly generous uncle that I am, I gave each of my nieces presents. The good thing about it was that not only did they like what I gifted them, their mothers also did as well. I always worry that my sisters (the older of the two especially) will not be pleased by the gifts I give them or their daughters; heck, I was so worried I gave them Barnes & Noble gift cards to mollify any disappointment. Luckily, I didn’t have to worry this year. (Side note: I drew Sis’ name in our family’s Thanksgiving gift draw, and she was really, really thrilled with what I gave her.)
I should note that aside from the above mentioned chain store gift cards, I shopped… wait for it… locally this holiday season, most notably at a couple of shops on State Street in Downtown Madison. Yep, it feels good to know that The Little Man (or Little Woman) is still around, still in business, and still selling good wares. It felt good, too, that I attended a holiday party en femme, joining a soiree put on by a photographer I posed for back in September. Oh, yes, I did pose for a professional’s camera this year. And once I finally get around to ordering some prints, I’ll get to show you the results. I will say this: The best behind the camera can bring the best out of anyone in front of it.
But all of that was before Christmas Day. And my actual Christmas Day was spent all by my lonesome. It’s somewhat strange for me to say that since I spent most of 2017 making new friends in the trans community, thanks to being part of a support group and joining Facebook. Speaking of Facebook, tonight I learned about a national Facebook group set up that allows those in the LGBT+ community to coordinate meetups with other LGBT people in their city, town, etc. who shouldn’t spend the day alone. Had I known this group existed, I could have joined and learned of a possible meetup in Madison… and if one was listed, I could have dropped everything, got dolled up, braved the cold, and joined in.
Really, nobody should be alone on this day. Unfortunately, due to my family’s schedule, I was. But if you’re reading this, I sincerely hope your Christmas Day and/or weekend was spent with those who know you, love you, and support you unconditionally. And here’s hoping you kept a good thought, and perhaps even showed some online/virtual love, for someone lonely who needed the love and comfort on this day. Happy Christmas and merry holidays to all of you.