​I admit to a certain amount of seasonal depression around the holidays, regardless. This was my mom’s favorite time of year–maybe it has to do with her absence. 

Or maybe that as an atheist adult, the “reason for the season,” I was indoctrinated with as a child doesn’t apply, so everything feels a bit hollow.

Or maybe its just everything going on. Facism on the rise, climate change, etc etc. The ending of all things. 

Maybe its just that I’m sick and have a black eye and my face is broken out with acne, so I feel miserable and icky. The polar vortex has returned, granting us a winter of freezing rains and occasional snows, dominated by heavy grey skies, and I find myself feeling unaccountably lonely despite being surrounded by family and friends. My son speaks of video games, my husband speaks of squidding, and my friends are busy with work. After the conversation about their interests peters out, I ask what books they are reading. My son is too busy with games and school to read. My husband does not like to read. My friends are generally too busy with work to read, so I find myself with few outlets to discuss reading or writing.

We opened gifts yesterday, because we’re going to spend today with family. My husband, as usual, eschewed making a gift list, while Kiddo and I both provided them. Kiddos’ was predictable: video games, Star Wars stuff, Legos.

Mine was pretty simple, I think, with both generic and specific options: Nook Glowlight, B&N membership & gift cards, blank journals, Star Trek Catan, some specific book titles, or jewelry (I have two types of jewelry: homemade/ everyday, or fancy/ special occasion, but girlshly delicate and youthful). A Starbucks or Forza coffee card would’ve been welcome as well, or Shari’s or something. Something where I could treat myself and go out to eat instead of dealing with the hassle of prep and cook and cleaning up after myself.

John got a ThinkGeek toolkit for taking apart electronics, a 21st anniversary bottle of Plantation rum, an air chuck set, a screwdriver set, two board games (Munchkin and Pandemic), some Munchkin expansion card sets, a rabbit fur lined waterproof hat to wear squidding, and the Borderlands Handsome Jack Collection to play with Kiddo. And a book from my dad.

Kiddo got four PS4 games, a $50 Steam gift card, two Lego sets, a bunch of collectable poseable figures (Doctor Who and Star Wars), some comic books and graphic novels, some Munchkin card add-ons, and a 3D modeling set (only thing off-list, and I don’t think he’s opened it yet).

I also got some Munchkin card add-ons. Hilariously, Kiddo apparently had forgotten about the shopping trip we’d gone on a month or so earlier, and had carefully and lovingly selected for me exact repeats of several card expansion sets we’d picked out his dad. I also got an automatic egg cooker and some baking supplies, which was unexpected but thoughtful. My baking supplies are showing wear from overuse, and when I hard-boil eggs in a pan, I do tend to walk away and forget them. And I got the Nook Glowlight and Star Trek Catan! Yay! I also got one set of Munchkin cards that wasn’t a repeat (I wrapped them and put them in my stocking myself–shhhh!).

So that’s this solstice. We’re heading out to spend the rest of the day with family in an hour or so. 


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