I will be alone for Christmas (and hopefully New Years Eve, too). “Oh, you poor lonely creature”, some might think. And I did feel a tinge of sadness, too. But, “lucky you!” yelled a younger friend, a mother of several younger kids, a huge family and a husband – and I quickly saw it her way. Totally.

She’s been running around in a frenzy for weeks, and her eyes glittered with sheer envy when I told her that I will be reading, writing, eating delicious foods, drinking champagne and thinking about the state of the world. (Which is dire and I won’t have enough champagne to drink it away.) In short: I’m making Christmas totally mine, shape it, bend it, give it new meaning all to my taste! Well, if that isn’t classic feminist living, freeing yourself from the role of an overworked family-servant – then I don’t know what is.

Why am I alone? Does it say something about me or the times? Sure. I’m an immigrant, old, and all by myself. Siblings and family members are on another continent; American best friends live in other cities and nobody my age is willing to travel huge distances just to sit at a table, eat too much and watching all younger people stare at their new technical devices, or men glancing longingly at the TV where – inexplicably for a foreigner – there will be FOOTBALL (I think) seen as the highlight of X-Mas.

What I DO admit to is a severe case of nostalgia. I miss Christmas but I’m trying to put it in the proper context. Did you know that nostalgia, when it was first defined in 1688, was an illness – and it was deadly? Today it’s about emotions, about longing and remembrance, tinged with a bit of melancholia sometimes.

Christmas with its inherent magical and mystical force is for kids, I truly believe that. For the kind of kids I once was – totally excited, actually shivering all day on the 24th which is the BIG DAY in Germany where the christmas tree is lit at night and the kids find their presents under the tree (nobody had heard yet of stockings and Santa coming down the chimney – maybe because nobody had a fireplace). I’m aware that what I miss most are the memories, my parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles that are all dead.

So the only sad part of “home alone for Christmas” is the realization that any form of sadness, should it appear while Bing sings “White Christmas” and Handel’s “Hallelujah” is filling the atmosphere, is nothing more than saying goodbye to childhood for good while remaining childlike when it comes to hope.

What I really wish for and want and miss is Peace on Earth and Happiness for All. And to believe that it’s possible – is truly an innocent child’s futuristic vision.


Originally published at grayinlosangeles.blogspot.com