The Weird Christmas Year Part 3 - The Final Chapter

Continued from Part 2...

Pat's CornerDec 26th-Dec 29th: My daughter had to work all week beginning on the 26th, so I was stuck at her apartment with no car and no good idea on what to do. My wife did make it on the 26th and took an Uber from LAX, so then we were both stuck. The all Star Trek channel helped, but it was not really “something to do”. Like I mentioned before, my daughter lives in North Hollywood: Picture seeing the famous Hollywood sign up on the hillside; North Hollywood is in the valley directly over top of this hill. It's an OK neighborhood in that there are no homeless encampments or abject fear when walking down the main drag (roughly Vineland Ave to Ventura Blvd.). There are normal residential streets and houses readily made for taking walks and listening to music or whatever with your earbuds. For you TV nostalgia buffs out there; my daughter’s apartment is 2 blocks away from the Brady Bunch House. At least the house they used for the front exterior shots when they needed to segue between scenes in the show. (see me pictured below in front of the iconic house). 

Most of the houses in the neighborhood did not have any Christmas lights or decorations. The ones that did had mostly inflatable Santas and such in their yards. Except for the yards being small, manicured, and very green; we could have been in most any well to do neighborhood back east. Even the North Hollywood pony-tailed hipsters in their Teslas ignore neighborhood stop signs just like the Ft. Thomas, KY Karens in their Escalades ignore neighborhood stop signs. I guess some things are universal. 

My daughter has a flexible enough work environment (i.e. 24/7 production) in that she could go in at 5:00 am and be off work at 2:00 ish in time for all of us to do some things before it got too late. We went to the obligatory “boujee” malls, “boujee” Whole Foods, and “boujee” restaurants (I did not have to cook every night). “Boujee” is a term my daughter uses as a prefix to describe upscale things. It was wonderful to spend time as a family, but nothing about our surroundings looked, sounded, or smelled like Christmas. 

Dec 30th and home: The LAX to CVG leg of the trip was taking the red-eye late Saturday night LA time to arrive early morning CVG time on Dec. 31st. Neither my wife nor I slept a wink on the flight, so needless to say, we were both zombies when we touched down at 5:00 am. We spent the rest of the day in various states of consciousness. Under normal circumstances, we typically don’t make a big deal about New Year’s Eve and are often asleep when the clock strikes midnight. This year was doubly so. We did not even have our traditional once a year New Year’s Eve screening of When Harry Met Sally. 

Quite unusually and without any prompting, on New Year’s Day my wife began to take down and box up the minimal Christmas Decorations she had set out. This typically does not happen until several days after Jan 1st. The Christmas music playlist was pumping out of the Bluetooth speaker like normal, but there was not much singing by either of us as the boxes and totes were being put to bed in their basement staircase closet home. It really was not as sad as these words make it seem, it is just that it is like we did not have Christmas this year. I am still waiting for it to start. I am still waiting to have to go to my wife’s family on Christmas Eve and sit in the corner and not talk to anyone. I am still waiting to go to my family on Christmas Day and have my sisters drink me under the table all the while talking non-stop without taking a breath about people I don’t remember. 

I guess no matter how weird or even unappealing some of our Christmas traditions or habits are, we still keep doing them regardless and they would be conspicuous in their absence. I am sure a few years from now, my immediate family will reminisce about The Weird Christmas Year. Hopefully there will be little ones to share this with as well. One thing is for sure, my daughter is going to schedule the time off and come home for Christmas 2024. I might even help her out and spring for a first class upgrade. 

Happy New Year!