I'm not the biggest fan of the holidays - OK, that's an understatement - namely because I'm irritated by 1) crass commercialism, 2) crass capitalism, 3) traffic, 4) crowds, and 5) stupid people.
Mix all of these with nasty, wet winter weather and - voila! - you have the holiday season.
Nevertheless, I am missing my great aunt, who died in August, especially much this time of year. Which also reminds me that I miss my cat, my cousin and my friend Ward.
I didn't want to do cards. I still have not put up the tree.
One more point of proof that my great aunt knew she was dying even before her cancer diagnosis - she labeled the Christmas ornaments that were from me. (We had a tradition of getting each other ornaments, no matter how many we had to try and fit onto an already crowded tree.) Her niece, my aunt Julie, sent the ornaments to me last week, and when the box got here, I almost cried.
I'm still not sure what to do with them. For now, they're in the closet.
Is the first holiday season the hardest without the ones we love, even with others we love here to hold us up?