a gift for you
Rose wakes up every morning, pads into our room, crawls on top of me and then ambushes my sleeping self with whatever urgent thought is currently orbiting her mind, like, “when can we have bacon again?”
These questions are startling at 6:02 am. Lately she’s been whispering, “so, tell me again how many hotels on our trip will have breakfast?”
We’re going on a trip! A little road-trip loop-de-loop high desert tour. It’s crazy, because I can’t even count how many zip codes away from Durango we’ll be. And who takes a roadtrip in December? Apparently people who can’t imagine leaving home during the other seasons on account of tomato seedlings and the commitment to pears and chasing elk and such.
And while Dan and I are excited about taking the kids to the Anasazi ruins at Chaco Canyon and the slickrock canyons of Utah and some hot springs in New Mexico, Rose’s fantasies center around the single-serving plastic creamers found at most hotel breakfasts. And I love her for that, I truly do. (And when there’s no complimentary breakfast, we’ve got the camp stove! And I know Rosie loves me for that).
Our holiday celebrations have been perfectly lovely in our typical laissez faire unorthodoxy. We don’t have a tree this year, for no particular reason, but opening Nana Judy’s homemade advent calendars and finding a little teddy bear sticker has been an unparalleled delight. The kids are opening gifts sporadically, one at a time, when they have time to really digest them, which seemed to elevate the journals I got them to superstar status when I worried they might be duds. Our gifts to each other get wrapped and re-wrapped in the same worn-out paper. It’s sweet and celebratory and eggnogy without anyone feeling like there’s anything particular to achieve or get right.
Also, we’re likely to half-assedly wrap the rum that we bought anyway for the eggnog and present it for opening because we’re all feeling extra gifty.
Rose orchestrated some complex math to make sure the nightly lighting of the menorah was as fair as possible, something like: number of candles ÷ number of family members² = Rose lighting slightly more than anyone else (but only slightly). The kids loved hearing about how Dan once mentioned to me, regarding the Hanukkah prayer, “I like the part about sharing kitties,” (there is a part that goes: asher kide shanu, pronounced: ah-share kitty shanu), which still elicits inappropriate giggles when we got to that part.
This year I bought 2 friends a subscription to The Sun, my favorite magazine, to which I’ve been subscribing for about 15 years. It is a monthly literary magazine, mostly personal essays, some fiction, interviews, photography and poetry. Amazingly, there are no ads and haven’t been for its 30+ years. The writing is stunning. It’s brave-hearted and honest and dark and hopeful.
After buying those 2 gift subscriptions, The Sun e-mailed me with this offer: a very good price on one more subscription, and I immediately thought of you all. You guys would love this magazine. Leave a comment to be entered for a one year subscription to The Sun.
ps: has anyone read Lidia Yuknavitch? Oh my. My head is still spinning. In a good way.
pps: I’m teaching a new writing class starting in late January. Tell your friends. Details here.
ppps: I’m unplugging for our little desert peregrination. Lets meet back here after Christmas, okay? Have a joyous holiday.
Love yous all! xoxo