One of the most touching scenes in the wonderful film Meet Me in St. Louis is where the inimitable Judy Garland sings Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas to wee Margaret O’Brien. Invariably makes me tear up.
So that is what Wendy and I are doing this year – we’re having ourselves a merry little Christmas. What that means is we are not exchanging gifts at all. We have enough stuff – ie, junk, cluttering up our garage and cupboards. And frankly there is nothing, other than a BMW ragtop that we really want or need. So what we were going to spend on gifts or even stocking items for each other is going to go to assorted community charities. We feel good about that.
In recent years we have found Christmas has gotten flat and stale to a degree. It needed sprucing up, and the best way to do that, we decided, is to not clutter ourselves up with more shit that we do not need.
Otherwise the day will begin as always. An appreciated coffee and lighting the tree. But no stockings. Yuletide music to be sure, and the stage was already set the previous evening with our traditional viewing of the Alastair Sim version of A Christmas Carol. Breakfast always consists of Eggs Benedict at our house and I confess I make a killer hollandaise, none of that ‘kit’ hollandaise for us.
Later we shall make phone calls to family and friends and listen to Dylan Thomas’s A Child’s Christmas in Wales. And then for dinner this year we are going to roast a duck rather than turkey. Other years we have done prime-rib (which is my preference).
Anyway, that is our planned cheapskate Christmas. No running around to find last minute gifts and fretting about whether the recipient will like what each of us bought for the other.
It’ll be cool. Or so we hope.