Christmas Past.

I have no concept of what Christmas means anymore or even what it’s really for. But I’m not as cynical as I used to be. I know that the giving of gifts is required, that being courteous to those close you is the way to behave. That the Day belongs to children. I’m pretty sure it’s more a gathering than a celebration, or at least the celebration of a gathering.

In my case I’m lucky because I have a family to gather together with. I can’t stand, no matter how infuriating and dysfunctional any family might be, I can’t stand the idea of anyone having to spend Christmas alone which is strange considering I’m not really sure what the day is for.

To say that this time of year makes me anxious is an almost criminal understatement. I often become ill. I dread the drive to Ottawa to be with my family. The easily five hour drive is spent preparing myself for tragedies or confrontations that never happen. Worst is the feeling of dread at being judged by my family. As if they will all of the sudden declare “you’re a poor, gay, unaccomplished embarrassment to us all!” Such declarations would never be made in a family like mine, and never on Christmas. Besides, the person who actually said such a thing would be first vilified and then shunned. They would have dealt a catastrophic blow to to the peace and civility of Christmas – a sin far worse than being the black sheep gay son.

I guess why I get anxious doesn’t really matter in the case of this Christmas past.
I will say my family was gracious, kind and generous this Christmas. Since this is no time to be greedy, I could not possibly ask for anything more – except maybe that next Christmas I’ll be a little less anxious.

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