A Little Christmas Introspection

It occurs to me that, were I to exaggerate, I have never needed to write. My writing comes from a place of want. I want to write. The struggle is, in this case, when one wants to write, that the quality of the work comes into question. Wanting, one invests time, writes from desire or lack or dream. Meanwhile, everyone else judges. Notice, on the other hand, how needing is entirely different. Needs, my friends, our needs are forgiven, our needs are understood. Whole -ologies dedicate themselves to examining necessity. It occurs to me, then, that I have never needed to write, the way we need to eat or sleep or think. Perhaps that’s why this work of mine, the work of any of us for that matter, falls deaf and lame sometimes; it simply isn’t needed.


Could you imagine, we enjoy the work of someone who “needed” to compose more than the work of someone who “wanted” it. Look at those words! “Wanted,” an outlaw. “Needed,” a hiring poster.


Both have their reward, though, right? Maybe this is all overthinking it. My high school writings, those required assignments, were they better than my posts today? Or, this thought-experiment: who’s the better genius, the one on purpose, or the one on accident? Your answer tells it all. Fine, wanting is pretty dope too. We don’t need success, but we want it; or sex, but we want it; or Christmas, but we want it! All good things.


Yes, to the post, I want to write a post. But the post, given the day in which I am writing, has to be about Christmas. So there you have it. A post about the holiday season, both wanted and needed. And here it is.


The heart of Christmas beats at the Christmas tree. The gifts underneath, the trip to buy it, the wrapping of lights and tinsel, the hanging of ornaments, and of course that bright star up top: is a symbol. This year I volunteered to fix up the tree, while the other family members organized other aspects of the house. The day set, however, to decorate the tree, set last minute the day of the party, I ran off to spend it with friends I hadn’t seen in over a year. Furious were the powers to be. I skedaddled home and decorated last, last minute, with a handful of hours before guests arrived.


I realized I had delayed setting up the tree, because I didn’t want to do it alone. What should have happened, with more time of course, is the family should have made the tree together. Making a tree by yourself is lonely. Making it with loved ones is magic. The tree stands, for us, for about two weeks, from Christmas to Three Kings Day. The ornaments, well, those are another story, about us.


Us, that’s the family. Family is big, size-wise, and gravity-wise. I always spend the holidays with family, always in Houston, except the years we went to Colorado to spent it with our uncles and cousins. Our tradition holds that we celebrate the night of the 24th, food galore, gifts at midnight, drinks like fountains, surprises — like this year, our uncle popped out in a full Santa outfit; keep in mind we’re all grown up, but damn it was funny.


A moment to reflect, the youngest in the family is 17; how long before a new generation slips in, the old one slips away; I’ve never lived through a Xmas transition like that; Jesus. Christmas day we have so many leftovers, that we all reconvene in the same house, eat the same food, wear the new clothes we were gifted, and watch movies for twelve hours. This year we watched Viridiana by Buñuel, The Hit with John Hurt, Tim Roth, Fernando Rey, and Terrance Stamp, three Anthony Bourdain episodes in West Texas, Spain, and Lyon, oh and Scrooged, and part of Apocalypse Now, before passing out.


Then begins my favorite week of the year: between Christmas and New Years, between the most important family celebration and the most important friend celebration. Clothes is exchanged for the right size, lunches with particular individuals, lots of lounging, or writing blog posts. Rather chill. The weather this week looks gray, smells great, feels warm, sounds quiet, and tastes amazing.


What makes Christmas special? The fact that each year comes and goes, I suppose. That 2018 will never happen again. That it, this, will all be gone for good, sooner not later, new generations stepping in, and old ones out. Smiles. Smiles. Then gone.


So we have to wait a whole year for the next one, but it will come. And it will be good.

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