I’ve always been pretty down on holidays. Buying things for people and hoping they’ll like them because you see them once every year or two and have no idea what the hell they’re into these days. Travel, plus winter weather. That weird conversation with your family where you tell them you don’t want any wine, or beer, or spiked egg nog, but no, you’re not pregnant, and please will they just leave you and you god damn Coke Zero alone?! Your car tabs that expire on December 27th. Incessant Christmas Music. Memories of 2 hr car trips home from the family gathering while one parent is sloshed, going through nicotine withdrawal AND having hot flashes, and the other is trying to drive in heavy fog, and you’re trapped in the backseat getting face-fulls of freezing air, cranking the volume up on your Walkman hoping your tape doesn’t snap.

Last year about this time is when Mom finally told us she was sick, too. I feel like I don’t even know the things that are gonna set me off. I almost burst into tears on the side of the street when my Bad Religion Christmas album (see, I tried, dammit!) rolled over to The Little Drummer Boy. She LOVED to sing that song, even though she couldn’t carry a tune in a bucket. It’s hard to think that it’s been almost a year. I feel like it was just yesterday, and forever ago. Everything is different. Bah Humbug.