Tuesday, December 23, 2008

'Tis the Season of...Domestication

Where did my first Christmas in Maryland go?

I do remember being here. I arrived in October, visited NY for a few days, and then I was here...getting to know the man I'd married, searching for a job, learning to cook, learning to operate the DVR, and reveling in an odd sort of nostalgia for things I used to despise but missed. So it seems amidst all the life-altering cooking and speculating, I completely missed out on my first winter and my first Christmas in Maryland.

As self-involved as that sounds, it's not every year you get a second chance at any of life's firsts.

Anyhoo, so technically this really is my first feel of December's icy winds ruthlessly slapping my numb face as I rush to 19th and L St., late as usual for work. I wasn't working last year at this time so I didn't get to enjoy it as much as I am now, every good morning. God bless them winds, they never fail me.

But hold it, my ode to winter will not be complete without my love for all things Christmas. Notwithstanding my utter dismay at not having a Muslim holiday that necessitates giving gifts, I do love peeping shamelessly into random strangers' homes to gaze wistfully at their ostentatious Christmas displays and brightly lit trees...oh, the trees! To have the license to squander your hard-earned cash on quirky ornaments and tacky red bows, to hang hundreds of multi-colored lights on a hundred dollar tree in your living room and risk burning your house down, and to stand in a mall trying really hard to recall a forgotten memory of a cranky old uncle/sibling desperately needing something...Christmas kicks ass! And then there is the month-long period of perfectly accepted inefficiency that is a delightful shout-out to Muslim countries during Ramadan. We're all just so much more similar than we realize.

And finally, to end on a note that makes a connection with this post's title--you can release your bated breath now--I have been domesticated, I learn, and slightly artisticated (not a real word). At least to the extent of taking a wire of white and gold beads and entwining it with my very depressing looking autumnsy wreath, and turning the autumnsy wreath festive! And putting some house plants generously donated by my mother-in-law around the house (to clean some of that toxic, over-heated Qureshi household air). And making a slightly tacky wedding pictures collage and sticking it to the wall. If only I would learn how to drill a hole in the wall now and put up my cheap photo prints.

Happy holidays :-)