My mother will be glad to see this post finally supplant the last one, in which, many people have noticed, I bear a strong resemblance to a strung-out Paul Giamatti. She may also be alarmed, however, to know that the beard is still going strong, and this year I might just see how close it can get to a full Grizzly Adams without morphing into a Joaquin Phoenix.
It's taken a while to get to back to the blog, but not for the usual Christmas-related, hurry-up, only-X-shopping-days-left, dash-about-madly-like-a-head-with-his-chicken-cut-off sort of way. In fact, it's been quite the reverse, since history will likely look on XMAS201o as the ell joint that sent the waterpipe in a completely different direction.
I know I wrote that last year was a "Year of Flux," as many of my longstanding Christmas traditions had been withered by geography and divorce. It turns out, though, that this year is even Fluxier because 1) my folks have moved away, and 2) when Moxie couldn't get the kids to her folks' for Thanksgiving, I switched holidays with her. So this year, for the first time, incredibly, I am completely family-free until we head north for Some Semblance of Yuletide Something next week.
At first, you might assume this could be the fartiest Buttmas ever. But actually, this affords me the chance to cross something off the Life List I Haven't Written Yet: Judiasm on Christmas Eve.
My old roommate Eric (an M.O.T.) and I wrote a song about it one morning while we were sitting around in our bathrobes. This was in 1994, I think, when my young, WASPy mind boggled at the idea of treating Christmas Eve like an ordinary weeknight--minus the goyim. Eric would spin tales of quiet, empty streets, Chinese-food emporia brimming with dumplings and good cheer, and no lines for the movie theater. One day, I thought, I would experience this bizarro world, this Exodus in reverse.
And today is that day. I've been told we're in for the full JOCE experience.
If Christmas Eve is within your belief system, I hope you're able to spend it living up to older traditions, or making up new ones, with the people you love most (or annoy you least). After tonight, I might have expand my tradition to include a reading of The Kvetch with a nice glass of Manischewitz.
Gut yontiff, y'all!