Christmas for One
by James K. Sayre
Have your beloved parents and siblings departed this mortal coil? Have all your cute girlfriends all flown the coop? Have your old friends moved far away or become too odd to speak with freely? Do not despair. After all, you still have your memories of Christmases past: your childhood Christmases, your adolescent Christmases, your young adult Christmases and your middle-aged Christmases to remember. Remember?
You can have a nice old-fashioned Christmas morning with nice presents and all the other trimmings. First, in early Autumn, pore through all of your accumulated mail-order catalogues and make a list of all the things that you want or need. Second, examine this list with a critical eye and trim it down to a manageable and affordable group. The mail out or call in your orders. When your self-gifts arrive, wrap them in holiday paper and tie them up with nice ribbons. If you are a senior and thus have your "moments," when you unwrap your presents on Christmas morning, you may truly be surprised...
Before Christmas, get a nicely-scented evergreen tree. Find your boxes of old tree decorations and put them on the tree. Make some sugar cookies to hang on your tree. If you are feeling ambitious and nostalgic, trying stringing cranberries and popcorn. Traditional paper chains are easy to make and are quite festive. Then put your self-presents under the tree. And don't forget to hang up your red stocking after having filled it with fancy tangerines, oranges, shiny red apples, walnuts, wrapped hard candies and other small gifts.
Try baking some traditional Christmas foods, such as fruitcake or a mincemeat pie. Even batches of home-made bread can be made quite holiday-festive with the addition of some pumpernickel rye flour, raisins, nuts and spices such as cinnamon, allspice, ginger, cloves, nutmeg and fenugreek. My mother used to pit some dates, then fill them with pieces of walnut and roll them in sugar. She put them into replacement check boxes lined with waxed paper: a nice little gift.
And don't forget to fire up the VCR and watch a couple of old favorite Christmas-time movies such as The Bishop's Wife, Holiday Affair, Christmas in Connecticut or A Christmas Carol.
10 December 2009.
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