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2005-12-24 | 1:14 a.m.

I would be very grateful if someone would point me to this entry in about, oh, mid-November 2006. Here goes.

Every year about this time I rediscover how much I hate Christmas. I hate the way we do it--not we, the gobbling hordes of consumerism, but rather we, the five of us in this family. I especially hate the way I do Christmas.

This year might just be the worst ever. Not the most stressful ever, but the worst overall, in terms of preparation and execution. We just got the tree up tonight and I can't wait to take it down. There is no food in the house to speak of, much less anything recommending itself for a Christmas dinner. I told my Mom tonight that I wasn't sure I was even going to bother wrapping most of the presents I've gotten, since Jinx told me the girls nosed around in the bags and saw everything already. My Mom said that when she was a kid, nothing was wrapped on Christmas morning; it was just sitting under the tree. The only time you wrapped a present was when you were giving it to, say, a teacher. When my sister and brother were little, she said, their presents weren't wrapped, either.

"I don't know when we got into this habit of wrapping everything," she wondered aloud. (I wasn't sure if she meant we, the consumerist hordes, or we, the members of this family. I don't like to interrupt her when she's reminiscing about something I've never heard before.)

I don't know where I'll be a year from now. But if I am still living this life, in this house, five together, then I hope I have the presence of mind to change. If not--if Duff and I split up--then Christmas will be different by default. But no matter what happens, I should still remember this place, this rut I get into, and try to break this one stupid tradition for good.

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