Two years ago, I sat on my parent’s couch, next to a fire, looking out to the ocean. Right then, I knew it would be my last Christmas there. And as it happens when you come to accept something, there was no sadness just resolve.
Nine years ago, I took Ben home after we spent the evening watching the sun set over the Pacific. As he climbed the stairs to his front door and turned to wave, I knew it would be the last time I saw him. Later, his mother said I took him on his last date.
Today, I am curled up in bed listening to records and reading a crumpled copy of The Sun. Light pours in from the bay window and my cocoa’s turned tepid. In a few hours, I’ll board a plane to San Diego where I’ll dance with friends and drink glogg in 75 degree weather. Inevitably, I’ll get emotional when Nat King Cole croons “The Christmas Song” and text my parents something like, “Damn, I wish we were together.” But, I’ve learned that even when things aren’t “perfect” they are in that moment.
Christmas used to be perfectly decorated trees and dozens of cookies and red and green presents. It used to be my brother and I running into the living room at 6am. It used to be baking Jesus a birthday cake in my Easy-Bake Oven. At 27, Christmas is telling my Dad to see the new Coen Brothers movie and sending my Mom a Charley Harper coloring book. It’s kisses in alleys and drives to the desert. It’s being present even if you’re zip codes apart. Christmas, after all, is just a moment. A perfect one.