Isolation in Family

Well, what can we say about the year 2020 in the first nine days? We’ve had impeachment stalling, a potential war with Iran, and all of this experienced in isolation from the family.  

About the family isolation: They did not even invite us this year. We would have gone this year to the family Christmas get together, too.  

No one but my brother and one aunt even called on Christmas Day.  

But I’m not entirely innocent, either, I must confess. I forgot to call my aunt in Seattle.  

You see, I was so busy waiting for love from my blood relatives in Kentucky, that I forgot about my aunt in Seattle, the one who truly loves me. I am truly sorry.  

Why do I torture myself wanting love from these people in Kentucky, when they never give love to me? When was the last time they called? 

They have never called.  

I am holding back tears (not very well, I must add) writing this. Hopefully, my mother does not notice.  

A Merry Little Christmas

Our Christmas is not going to be big, but I feel it will be peaceful. There’s our Christmas Eve traditions, and our Christmas Day meals. I cook, and we eat, and just have a nice time.

We kind of have to watch our wallets this year because we’re paying back the bank for rescuing us from a scam (See https://cambriaj1977.wordpress.com/2019/08/15/what-its-like-to-be-scammed-also-avoid-publishers-sweepstakes-association-like-the-plague/ is you like), but we’re getting through. Hopefully, we won’t be duped again.

Fortunately, we can watch our wallets pretty well now. Our income limits force us to live within our means, so we’ve lived frugally for a while now.

We’ll have the debt halfway paid in January.

Why I Have A Fake Tree

I think you can clearly see that the tree I have is not a “real” Christmas tree. I mean, you need flocking or snow to put white on a real one, right? It’s not a big thing as to what a person puts in their house around this time of year. Unfortunately, some people make it a big thing. There is apparently a feud I am not aware of going on.

First, in order to understand the feud, we have to define “real.” I mean, my tree exists in the dimensions of time and space. That’s not a hologram blocking my patio door.

But apparently, for a tree to be “real,” some insist that it has to have been growing in the ground at some point. I guess that’s fair.

Now, why is there a feud in this? There’s usually a good reason a person has either a real tree or a fake tree.

Honestly, I would prefer a real tree….

…but I’m allergic to real ones. I break out in hives while putting on the ornaments. It’s been that way since childhood.

Now that you know why I have this particular tree, why don’t we look at the reasons people are feuding, and why none of them really hold water in the sense of a feud.

The first one is, environmentalism. Apparently, having the tree I have is an environmental hazard, unless you keep it for some years. If you look back on Christmas decorations past, you will see that I have had this tree through what is now three decorating phases. I have had this tree since I decorated Christmas in purple, decorated Christmas in gold and silver, and decorated Christmas now in red, gold and silver. It’s been at least five years. Having a tree you can keep instead of throw away is very nice, as far as I am concerned.

Another one is the smell of pine needles and such. Unfortunately, some people are also allergic to this, including my mother. We don’t even change our air freshener scent for the season – where we have an air freshener.

There are more reasons, and I’m sure you can look these up.

However, I am not going to insist I feud with other people about Christmas trees. There are bigger things to be offended by. Poverty and racism, for example.

Usually, there is a really good reason behind a person’s choices. I have stated mine.

The best question, when you don’t understand the choice a person makes is this:

Why?

Christmas Report: A Merry Little Christmas

Well, it’s after ten at night on Christmas Day. My mother and I had a very relaxing Christmas. We did not go anywhere on Christmas Eve because the brakes in our car are shot. (It will cost roughly $300.) Other than that, we had ourselves a Merry Little Christmas, with no stress.  

I slightly overcooked the prime rib. I held it for too long in the oven. Perhaps it was too long. But the meat was not that dry, though. We just like it medium done around here. It was medium well. That seemed to be the only problem. 

Anyway, the big day was actually kind of relaxing. We got up around eight, opened small gifts from our family, had Eggs Benedict with hash browns, and mostly relaxed. Christmas Dinner was simple enough: Prime rib, rolls and steamed vegetables with bearnaise sauce and au jus. Aside from medium well prime rib, the dinner turned out well.  

As for presents, the sweets we got from my brother were nice. It was a good variety in two sets of beautiful boxes. I also got sea-colored earrings from my aunt Joan – they are beautiful.  

After the dinner, I cleaned up dishes and relaxed the rest of the day. It was pretty nice.  

I would like to give a shout out to all autistic people who have had to hide their true selves around family that refuses to understand. A shout out to autistic people who avoid their stubborn family altogether, too. Shout out to autistic people who deal with unnerving questions. Shout out to people dealing with infertility.

Christmas Prep Part 4: Christmas Dinner Shopping

Well, this is mostly a report for what I did yesterday morning: Christmas dinner shopping. This year, we’re having prime rib. We’re also having rice, vegetables and rolls. (Honestly, I’m tempted to try Yorkshire Pudding if we have everything, and the recipe goes right.) I know for a fact that many of us autistics are not called on to make Christmas Dinner, and that’s okay. I’m putting a no pressure vibe into the day; my mother and me, laid-back and easy. Besides, just about everything in the dinner is easy, even cooking the Prime Rib. (Honestly, it is.)

Maybe that’s not the whole story. I was very nervous about cooking the Prime Rib, especially since I have failed by making it too rare before.
I looked up the recipes long before I even got the rib, looked them up just after I got the roast, and I was looking them up a few minutes before writing. I get very nervous, but I soon realize it’s much easier than my mind is making it. I guess I get anxiety, and need to calm down. 

But back to the big shopping trip. Of course, we got some other things too. We do need to eat between Christmas and New Year’s Day. (We had most of that dinner already bought, too.) Besides, once Christmas Dinner is done, we’ll be alright. There really is little to it.  

I’m not trying to be arrogant. The dinners we make are very simple, including for Christmas. I’ve looked at the cooking instructions for the most complicated things, and they’re entirely doable.

I guess the point of this is, make it as easy as possible. If you’re up to the challenge of making a Charles Dickens style Christmas, by all means, go for it. I think most of us, however, are not up to the task, autistic or neurotypical.

Christmas Prep Part 3: Take Care of Yourself

Some people say I preach to the choir. I say even the choir needs some guidance every once in a while. But truthfully, I am often preaching to myself. The issue at hand? The hectic schedules of Christmas many of us come across. Think about it. In Christian tradition, December is one of the busiest months of the year, if not the very busiest.  

You have parties, caroling, lights, sounds from nowhere, smells, cooking, church services, church potlucks, card send outs, family get-togethers…think about it. It is quite easy to get swept up in the hubbub – and forget to take care of yourself. The meds are a small thing, yet they help keep you stable and able to somewhat enjoy the season. Anyway, self-care is even more essential than ever in this time. I hate to bring it up, but there’s a reason airplane people tell you to put on your own oxygen mask before helping anyone else. How can you help someone if you can’t breathe? Take care of yourself. If you need a break, take a break.  

If you don’t celebrate Christmas in this hectic manner, feel free to apply this advice to the month(s) you are busiest. It’s all good advice, applicable to busy times.