|Paris street person's Christmas|
Christmas is the day you may begin with photos of sparkling mimosas or a good champagne straight-up with breakfast or brunch. Christmas is the day of 30-pound turkeys. The day of a myriad of hors d’oeuvres, side dishes and desserts. Oh, and did I forget? Gifts galore.
No pictures allows total freedom from pretty food. There is no need for a preplanned menu. There is no sharing of festive ideas on social media or on the blog.
Whether I had an 81-day aged rib steak or a 30-pound turkey really doesn’t matter to anyone, even me. How many sides did I serve with my main? Again, who cares? And if I listen to Sixpence None the Richer or Counting Crows, nobody knows, nobody cares.
Jerry Seinfeld said it best. “This is the problem, there’s too many things,” Seinfeld began. “You have things, I have things, holiday time, there’s going to be a lot more things.” “All things on Earth only exist in different stages of becoming garbage,” he pointed out. “Your home is a garbage processing center...Garage seems to be a form of the word garbage”.
Christmas is the proof that the yearlong talk of restraint and avoiding conspicuous consumption is merely that, talk. Do you really believe that elaborate gifts are a measure of love and caring? No, I didn’t think so.
How much did Christmas cost you? How can I say this without sounding like I am bragging but I spent a total of $50 plus that $25 bottle of bubbly and a good steak. I sent six cards and delivered four handmade gifts. Does anyone feel left out? No, I didn’t think so.
What is it like to be alone Christmas morning? There is a deep silence as big fluffy snowflakes dust the firs like powdered sugar shaken from a sifter. It is like my house is in a big snow globe that has been gently shaken and set down carefully not to disturb. There is no frenzy of opening gifts and screams over spilt hot chocolate.
There is no rush to listen to a Queen, a Pope or a politician as he or she lays out the scene of last year and hopes for the next. I always cry anyway. There is no Facebooking my partner who is sitting on the other end of the sofa. I would rather have my vicarious Christmas dinner with Ricardo. Yum, celery soup. I have celery. Or pomegranates. I forgot I have one squirreled away in the crisper drawer.
I am not overly religious yet have enjoyed Christmases past with dramatic cantatas in century old cathedrals or the burning bush on the mountaintop overlooking the 13th century Cathedral of St. Andrew in Amalfi.
I have enjoyed a seafood Christmas Eve and 30 pound turkeys on Christmas Day. I have indulged in turkey leftovers, pies and cakes. As I ate a more reasonable amount of food this year I almost began counting the calories I was saving by eating alone away from the hysteria of the perfect Christmas day of food. One pear hand pie, half a steak, fiddleheads and of course, a handful of shortbread icebox cookies. I didn’t even break a sweat.
How was my day? (Do you really care? No? I didn’t think so but here it is anyhoo) One can never totally escape the drama of family, even if not with them in person. So I didn’t miss out on that, phew! But what I pined for most was my camera for I am also an obsessed documenter of food. There was nothing I could do today but be the critic. I amused myself by scanning the plethora of Christmas meals on Facebook. Sloppy place settings and silverware a kilter, white balance off by a mile, bad lighting and so many moments of pride as the meal was being staged for the camera before sitting down. I only hope it was still hot for the guests! Just saying.
Today is Boxing Day, that vestige of colonialism. Will I run out and grab up all those gifts I didn’t get? Works of art, meat slicers, a onesie pyjama? Buy up the candy-striped spatulas, Nutcracker gift boxes, all the on-sale wrapping paper and cards? Well, maybe. Look at all the money I will save? I have money leftover from Christmas, after all. You have no idea how much I would love to have a meat slicer!
Oh well, perhaps just this one time?
Nah, I think I’ll just pick up a package of my Miss Sugar’s favourite Friskies treats.
Footnote: I had intended to write a real foodie piece but in keeping with my fuss free Christmas this seemed more appropriate. I don’t feel quite ready to indulge.