"Cold out there, huh?"
"Yep. It's winter."
"Yeah, but it's winter in LA, and it's not cold there!"
"Two different places I guess."
"Yeah, but one place is cold, and the other place, well, it just isn't! Isn't that something!?"
Okay, so conversations like that rarely happen to that kind of extreme, but still. I choose to spend Christmas how I want.
That means for the last couple of years I've stayed in New York for Christmas. Because I stay here and it's not where my family lives, I get invited to orphan Christmas.
"You want to come to orphan Christmas dinner?"
"You're cute. You want to have an orphan threesome with me and my friend?"
"I don't even think orphans would want to have an orphan threesome."
I have places I can go, I just choose not to. I'm back and forth to Canada a decent amount, and flying home at Christmas is way too expensive. It cost almost a thousand dollars to get home. Why? Because there's not a lot of direct flights from NY to New Brunswick, and also, it's Christmas. Airlines can charge whatever they want.
"Alright. I need to fly from Halifax to Northern Halifax for Christmas. Let's see how much that would cost. Seven hundred bucks?! It's an hour flight. What the hell, airlines!"
"We're sorry. When you really want to get somewhere during a certain time of year, we raise the prices. Same flight in January would be four hundred dollars less. But, there's no reason to go home in January, now is there? So, will you be checking one bag, or two?"
Also, why is it necessarily sad when someone doesn't go home for Christmas? How do you know what their family Christmas would be like? People sort of assume that you just HAVE to go home for Christmas. If you don't, something must be wrong and you must be the most depressed person on earth.
"You're not going home for Christmas? Wow. You okay? You thinking about ending it all? How are you even able to stop crying long enough to tell me that? Was your family murdered by ninjas on Christmas? I am so truly, truly sorry."
Not all Christmas's or families on Christmas are the way they are shown to us in commercials. Every commercial for Christmas shows a mom and a dad, both wearing terrible sweaters, in a big house with at least two kids, a dog is running around, their tree is massive, and there's so many presents under the tree it'll take until the 26th to open them all. They NEVER show commercials with people living in apartments. Why? Do people in apartments not celebrate Christmas? Do you HAVE to have a set of stairs to run down to really enjoy presents?
"Merry Christmas, guys!"
"Ah, yeah. Thanks, mom. Huuuuh. It's just, I can't fully enjoy this new iPod knowing that I ran two steps down a hall way and then through the kitchen to open it. Hopefully next year, we'll get a real, HUMAN place to live."
I like staying in NY for Christmas. Christmas is the one day a year that I don't feel bad for not doing anything, so I want to take full advantage of that. There's a bunch of places I could go, but if I do, I gotta wear pants, I have to talk to families, I have to not swear. All of those things are fine, and I like doing them, but on Christmas? Man. Adult Christmas has become a real day. I wake up really early, start the day with tons of bacon. I wear sweatpants all day. ALL... DAMN... DAY. I'll probably watch an old wrestling pay per view. Drinking in the afternoon. I probably won't shower. There's no WAY I could do any of that at a persons house with their family.
"Nathan, what are you doing? Aren't you going to get dressed?"
"What? No. It's Christmas! Did you get dressed as a kid when it was Christmas? You're goddamn right you didn't."
"Can you watch your language. There are kids here."
"And I bet they're happy as dick that it's Christmas! I'm putting more egg nog in this rum, and I'm NOT going to eat at a dinner table. Pe, pe, peace!"
I won't be able to enjoy Christmas this way forever. I'll have a family and kid some time. Probably. Who knows. But still, doing Christmas the way I do now at forty two might be a bit weird.
I try to do Christmas the way it was as a kid as much as possible. Christmas as a kid was amazing and that's not coming back. The break from school alone was great. That last day of school before time off for Christmas. Man. Teachers handing out candy canes, movies being played. You could just leave whenever you wanted. Teachers were almost upset that you showed up.
"Ugh, you're here? Don't you have cool friends to smoke drugs in the woods with? God. Alright, I'll put on Gremlins. I would rather be home."
Christmas Eve as a kid was so much fun. It was great to not really be able to sleep because you were so excited about waking up.
"Go to sleep."
"You have to."
"It's completely impossible! It's Christmas. CHRISTMAS!"
"Santa won't come if you don't go to sleep."
"Well Santa can blow me, because there's no way I'm sleeping! Doesn't he know it's Christmas?! Christmas!"
Christmas does not just have to be in the same living room you did it in when you were five. Christmas is a state of mind. It can be enjoyed anywhere, with anyone, if you really want to. You could have a good Christmas in a bus station. It would take a hell of a lot, but it could happen.