Wow, where did December go? It was a busy month, but a good one.
I spent Christmas Eve at Richard and Nora's house in Maple Ridge, along with Mom and Dad. Nora's sister's family, who were visiting from Kamloops, were also there. I don't get to see them very often, and it always amazes me how much the children have grown and changed. Richard and Nora had prepared a generous spread for dinner, supplemented by my parents' shrimp salad and my quiche tarts, and even with nine of us there was more than enough to go around.
While Nora spent Christmas Day with her family, Richard and I went to Mom and Dad's. They had moved into their new house, recently completed, less than two weeks before. It's big and beautiful and still smells of fresh paint (which I really like, for some reason), but it doesn't quite feel like a home yet. Maybe it's because there's still decorating to do and furniture to be unpacked and arranged, but I think a part of me will always miss the old house.
After dinner, we opened presennts. My parents got a cordless phone and some huge, fluffy bath towels from Richard and Nora. They won't get my present - a George Foreman grill - for a few more days, since I couldn't decide what to get them until the last minute, and it's currently still in the hands of Canada Post. I gave Richard and Nora a book of eight tickets for cross-country skiing at Cypress Mountain, which I hope they'll get to use, despite the fact that the local mountains were getting more rain than snow these days. Richard and I got matching bronze dragon statuettes from Mom and Dad, about 12 cm tall but heavy enough to break your foot if you happened to drop one. I also received a lovely though slightly itchy sweater from Mom, and a sleek pair of Nikon binoculars from Richard, who obviously understands my love of gadgets.
I had received an invitation from my cousin Jane to go skating on New Year's Eve with her and a few friends. That would have been fun, and I haven't been skating for years, but that plan unfortunately fell through. I ended up ringing in the New Year with my parents, which was fine with me because they would have been alone otherwise, and I hated the thought of that. It was better than going to bed early and sleeping through it, which is what I was contemplating.
Mom, Dad and I went to Richard and Nora's again for New Year's Day, where we had lunch with Nora's brother's family (from Calgary, also in town for the holidays). In the afternoon, Mom, Dad and I went for a drive out to Harrison Hot Springs. The resort seemed fairly busy - I guess it's a popular destination for people who want a quick getaway at New Year's. I finally inquired about the swim suit I'd left behind from my last visit in October, which I kept forgetting to phone the hotel about. They didn't have it, so it looks like I'll be getting a new one. Damn, and I only got to wear it twice.
We didn't spend much time there, since it was getting dark. So we drove back to Maple Ridge and met Richard and Nora for dinner at a Chinese restaurant (which, like many other Chinese restaurants, were open for business even on New Year's Day). Once again, I was reminded of why I really should learn to leave food on my plate if I'm full. I felt positively ill during the drive home.
All in all, a very low-key holiday, but enjoyable. Christmas has never had much significance to me as a religious holiday, and every year it seems to get a little harder to look forward to it. I was expecting a big case of the Christmas blues this year, but they didn't come. I found myself having a pretty good time, and grateful to have people I care about to spend it with.
* * *
Ron hasn't gone away like I expected him to. I don't know if that's a good or bad thing. Sometimes I enjoy being with him, and other times I wonder why he bothers, since he doesn't seem to be having that great of a time when we're together. Maybe that's just my own paranoia kicking in; I often worry that I'm not good company for other people.
I did get him a couple of gifts, a Harry Potter calendar (he's a big fan) and a small Body Shop package. He didn't get me anything, which I have to admit surprised me a little. He confessed that when he found out two days before Christmas that I had gotten him something, he'd considered getting me a present at the last minute.
"But that wouldn't have been honest," I said, and he had to agree.
I was hurt, but the feeling quickly evaporated. He's not a big gift giver in general, and he's demonstrated his friendship in other, more important ways - like I said, he keeps calling me, far more than I've called him. He's also invited me along to an introductory session of a group that he's been involved with for a long time. I'm not sure what the group is about, and he's only described it to me vaguely - kind of spiritual and self-healing, but "not a cult," he promised. I agreed to go, more out of curiosity than anything else.
Anyway, to get back to my point...I take it as a good sign that I wasn't more disappointed. It means I'm no longer obsessing about him, and that can only be a good thing.
But I hope that when he starts dating someone again, and if they're still together at the end of December, that he'll get her a Christmas present, even if it's something he thought of at the last second. To not get her something would be a very big faux pas, in my opinion.
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