Christmas was a low-key affair for us again that year.
Most of our friends were away with their families, so it was up to us to entertain ourselves.
This involved such riveting activities as playing Scrabble by the fire, dining out on fried seaweed and cellophane noodles…
and shivering in line for more than an hour to see a stunningly pointless “holiday release” movie.
For the ritual gift exchange, we gave each other presents for the house—stuff we were going to have to buy at some point anyway, but decked out in garish holiday paper to provide a quasi-festive spin.
Michael got an electric drill (whoopee)…
…and in my stocking (figuratively speaking) I found two beach umbrellas and a hurricane lantern.
After we’d opened our gifts Christmas morning—and oohed and aahed politely over each one—we headed to lunch and then on to the movie.
The theater was hot and crowded (obviously we weren’t the only restless pagans in town), and a man in the row behind us with a terrible cold rumbled the same wad of phlegm round and round in his throat for 127 minutes.
That’s a lot of rumbling.
We literally sprinted to the car afterwards, anxious to get back to our Scrabble and cozy fire.