364 days until Christmas

I went to Pittsburgh to celebrate Christmas with my boyfriend’s family. The drive there is pretty awful if you take Route 30 most of the way, I discovered–four-plus hours, generally not much to look at except tiny towns with a few rundown houses and always some kind of auto shop, and then a bar every ten miles or so with parking lots full of pickup trucks. Made me almost desperate to get to the city. I can’t imagine growing up in a place where there was only one restaurant, one gas station, one stoplight–having options, like multiple cuisines, activities, even routes home, is a necessity for me.

Christmas itself was pretty nice. I actually enjoyed giving gifts–when you feel like you really nailed one, it’s fun to watch the giftee’s reaction. Boyfriend’s family definitely has different traditions than the ones I’m used to, but they made me feel welcome. I have to say that I’m glad I’m back in my own space, sleeping in my own bed, with my own cats. In fact, I’m wishing I was back in bed right now…could really use a nap.

Maybe there’ll be discounted egg nog at the grocery store tonight.

It’s the holidays

Which is blatantly obvious, unless you don’t leave the house or watch TV.

I grew up in a half-and-half household–while I’m technically Jewish (had a bat mitzvah, etc.), we also celebrated Christmas with my dad’s side each year. My mom wouldn’t let us get a tree or put up lights (not even blue and white for Hannukah!), but I think one year she let me hang Christmas ornaments on curtains and doorknobs around the house.

Since my grandparents on my dad’s side passed away, and my dad did too, we don’t do Christmas anymore. I always loved eggnog, twinkle lights, the ham and mashed potatoes at dinner, and opening presents on Christmas morning, but there isn’t much of a point to it anymore.

This year, I’m driving to Pittsburgh to spend the holiday with my boyfriend’s family. While it won’t be the same (lack of eggnog, I’m betting, and possibly more neurotic family members), it’ll be nice, I think, to participate in some similar traditions.

Now, to spend over four hours in the car! Happy nog drinking and all that, y’all.