Thursday, December 24, 2020

Teacher Tom: This Cursed and Blessed Year

Teacher Tom: This Cursed and Blessed Year
This Cursed and Blessed Year

Just before Christmas last year, we discovered that the company from whom we rent a storage locker had lost all of our stuff. The good news is that most of it probably should have been thrown out years ago, but among the things we'll never see again were all of our holiday decorations, including ornaments I'd been collecting since I was a little boy. So, for the first time in our 34 years of marriage, and for the first time in our daughter's 23 years of life, we celebrated against a backdrop that did not include a tree, stockings, or any of the other ritual trapping of our holiday. Fortunately, our Christmas Day tradition also involves gathering with my parents, my siblings, and their children, which went off as usual, which, in the parlance of Hollywood, "saved Christmas."

This year, we don't even have that. Indeed, there is nothing "traditional" in our celebration at all: no gathering, no shopping, no decorations, and no gift exchange except what will amount to a symbolic one between the three of us. Tonight, I'm cooking a pared down version of my Thanksgiving supper since we missed that this year as well. Tomorrow, we're relying on the delivery of Chinese food. We'll probably spend the next couple days watching movies and talking over reality shows. The holiday traditions we've built together as a family are asunder leaving us with . . . What?

Of course, a version of this experience is being played out by CONTINUE READING:  Teacher Tom: This Cursed and Blessed Year