Making Christmas


I didn’t write for a couple of days because I was busy. I was working. I was decorating Lisa’s house for Christmas – hauling poinsettias and wrapping sprigs of holly around bannisters like the Grinch when he brought the gifts back… When I wasn’t working, I was waiting in the hospital for Kim to have a procedure so I could drive her home, tuck her in and make sure she was okay. Then I packed the car with the precision of a watchmaker – each necessary thing to make Christmas happen in the mountains (unearthed from the bowels of my storage space) fitting neatly in the trunk and the back seat.

I was busy, working, involved. Those words don’t roll off my tongue very well and that is part of the problem…

I have told you that a lot of my drinking issues came after my children were grown and my marriage broke up. The fact is, a lot of my drinking issues happened when I became unaccountable to anyone or anything. There is something dangerous about idle time.

Thank God for the frenetic, sleepless, industry of the holidays. There is no time for drinking.

Admittedly, I used to drink while I spread my own brand of Christmas cheer. There was always a bottle cooling in the gift wrapping room in the old house and I always drank a bottle while getting the tree, dressing the tree and afterwards looking at the lighted tree (that’s like four bottles…).

The holidays have always been a crazy time for me. A few years ago I was power walking through Target (getting a few last minute items) and Kim came up to me all worried and said, “Thank God you’re alright. Last night on the phone was so weird, right?”

I said, “Huh?”

She said, “Don’t you remember talking last night?”

I had been on a Christmas creating bender – five nights of an hour or so of sleep and a continuous blood-alcohol level above the legal limit: rolling Russian tea cakes in powdered sugar and wrapping gifts so artfully they looked like decorations…:

I did what I always did in those days when I had no recollection of something I’d said or done. I faked it. I said, “Yeah. Crazy…”

Apparently Kim had called and woke me from the floor of my closet, wrapping war-room at eight in the evening and I was so delirious I started talking about selling Christmas paintings and how I was going to leave for Armenia in the morning and then I just hung up the phone.

I intend to be saner this holiday season. And busy. I’m staying very busy.


Today I’m not drinking because I’m busy. I’m making Christmas in Georgia…

How come you’re not drinking?