December 25, 2004

Post-Christmas debrief

I love Christmas. (Well, to be more accurate, I love the secular celebration of Christmas.) I love buying just the right things for the people I care about, wrapping them up, and watching them enjoy what I've selected. I love the lights, the decorations, the music (or most of it), making up my little gift surprise for the people at work, and the whole anticipation of the day. And I love getting gifts. Not much to dislike, all in all, at Christmas in my life. Sure, having someone special to share it with would be pretty great but, lacking that, Christmas is one of my favorite times next to my birthday.

So imagine my surprise when the entire day of Christmas Eve sucked, hardcore. I'm not going to go into details here because...well...just because. But I'll hit the lowlights: nasal congestion galore; oversleeping; trip to the emergency room (not for me); lots of worry; lots of running around; getting locked out of a house; driving around looking for help due to being locked out; frustration; more running around; more worrying; not getting presents wrapped; falling into bed exhausted, not having done half the things you had planned to do. The single high point was dinner, which was enjoyed out at a lovely restaurant, La Pastaia.

The running around is typical for me this time of year, not because I'm still shopping but because I am almost always petsitting at least two places and they're never near each other. Usually I stay at one of the places and do drop-in at the other but this time, with all the craziness, I ended up not staying at either of the places so that meant a lot more driving. And I usually don't get locked out because I'm very careful -- in all the years I've been doing it, I've only been locked out once before this.

All this left me in an absolutely crummy mood heading into a day of expected happiness, and just about ready to hang up my keys for good, to boot. But, thankfully, all bad days come to an end and this one was no exception. Plans were modified, help was offered, patience was exercised, and things got back on track. Gifts were wrapped, animals were attended to, music was played, treats were eaten, and cares were forgotten for a while. And, finally, there were presents!

So, what was the best present you received -- either tangible or intangible -- this Christmas?