"Baby Jesus, born to rock."

Got a little gift from my favorite co-worker -- including the best ever kind of Ghirardelli chocolate:  Peppermint Bark.

Thanks Rachel!!
You know, I've never done stuff like that, and I've always wanted to.  I've never sent greeting cards or organized neat baggies of candy/stocking stuffers.  And it makes sense to, doesn't it?  At least for people I see more often than I see members of my own family.

There is, of course, the whole religious connotation.  I don't celebrate Christmas as a religious holiday, but I've mostly gotten over my whole "militant atheist bans all social engagements that have to do with religion" thing -- makes it a little hard to go to weddings and funerals -- and now I celebrate it as a social holiday.  And I, as always, celebrate the food.  And I celebrate the abundance of paid time off within such a tiny time frame. 

But damn it, I want to be one of those people that goes all out!  I've got Christmas decorations, but they aren't up.  I have now completed my gift shopping, including for The Bean's birthday, which is also this week, but that's all I've done.  I see so many Facebook status updates that report the baking of gingerbread, the stringing of homemade decorations, the festive drink recipes for parties.  I haven't even managed to buy wrapping paper.

Am I missing a gene?  The "cozy" gene?

I last achieved this coziness at the Christmas parade downtown in 2006.  I was in a one bedroom apartment in a historic building along the parade route, so that morning, I sat on the stoop with hot chai and a blanket, waving at the politicians, snow princes and princesses, and firemen.  After that, I poured myself more tea and did the Sunday crossword puzzle at my windows, watching everyone bundled up and walking into St. Boniface church across the street. 

And sure, my apartment smelled like cinnamon and spices, but I had to pee all day from drinking so much chai.  And I was tired in the afternoon from waking up so early and having nothing to do.  Then I couldn't really concentrate on homework because I was so deadset on being someone I wasn't.  Someone so... "twee."  I felt like I could only do homework while listening to the radio, humming, and not looking like I hadn't seen a mirror at all that day.

Maybe people outside looking in see my life differently.  I feel like it's a mess all the time -- like, there's always something to worry about, clean up, be late for, get fixed, catch up on, pay off.  I wonder if "twee" people feel that way too, and how they manage to bake Christmas confections in spite of it.

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