You know what 2020 needs? It needs a throwback to the heyday of blogging of a decade ago. Let’s pretend I’m in my twenties, no kids, with a head full of steam and dreams of going viral on the Internet. Each day on my blog, I’ll review holiday snacks and junk I buy at my local CVS and Wal-mart. I’ll write about strange candles and popcorn tins. I’ll buy mail-order buttercream cakes. I’ll painstakingly arrange vintage snowman blow molds in front yard and take pictures. FOR THE BLOG.
I need this. You need this. I don’t know how to get into the Christmas Mood this year. None of us do. Many of us only have vague, dreary hopes that “Christmas Cheer” will fix our mental state in the pandemic. The advertisers and radio stations and Home Depot have all emerged out from their “fuck it, it’s Christmas now” war rooms. Christmas feels aggressive this year. It feels like it’s gotta save us from 2020. Except we all know how we’re gonna end up: in a swollen heap of deeper depression on January 1st.
When I was in my twenties, keeping a blog used to help me get into holiday moods. I was in between life stages, no family of my own, just a girlfriend and a blog and a loneliness for the past. Everything left me in my twenties. I left everything. I left home and childhood, looking for new connections, new dreams, new approaches. Friends moved away, others lost touch. Things I thought would last forever didn’t.
The holidays left me, too. No longer was I secretly awake at 4am on Christmas morning watching Ernest Saves Christmas with my sister until my parents let us wake up officially. No longer was I re-arranging the wax figurines of elves that my grandmother set out, shoveling M&Ms into my gullet. No longer was I admiring the toothy-bites of carrot left behind by Santa’s reindeer on our dining room table, not knowing it was my mother pulling off the big show.
The holidays morphed into something more technical and less magical. Now we went to parties and Sipped Cocktails and Talked. It felt like a lot of talking. So much talking. Talking about boring shit in a droll haze of Responsibly Buzzed, the kind that wears off after an hour or two. And then when the talking is done, it’s just silence, awake at 4am, but without the wonderful secrets.
The holidays became a series of dates and plans. Your parents, my parents, this time, that time, WHAT time, dinner, brunch — also, yours / my parents want to know if you’re staying for pie, and do you eat stuffing, and when is anyone getting grandchildren?
I found way through with blogging, forcing myself to become tactile again with the holiday. I had missed running my fingers along of the carrot tracks of reindeer jaw. I missed the attic-absorbed smell of the wax figurines. I missed my grandmother’s lead crystal candy dish of M&Ms, its poison and wistfulness forever lurched into my bloodstream.
That’s how I’m going to work my way through 2020: get tactile, find my way back through the senses. Consciously make contact, like I’m an alien landing down in a pharmacy store at 4am. What is this strange planet? What is this strange Christmas?
Christmas is strange this year. Countdown with me everyday from Thanksgiving to New Years on the blog. Figure it out with me. I’ll give away prizes in the comments section. I’ll make terrible cookies with sketchy kits from Big Lots. I’ll roast a Tofurky. Put The Surfing Pizza blog on your holiday to do list.