My Twelve Days of Christmas

On the First Day of Christmas, my true love gave me a . . .
well, I’m not sure I even know who my true love is
And, well, nobody really special has given me anything,
So, let’s just assume Santa gave to me . . .
A shovel to plant a pear tree
. . . because, you see, I really don’t need a partridge at all; we do have enough pets to take care of around here . . .

On the Second Day of Christmas, Santa gave to me
. . .Yeah, I’m still looking for a true love, but in the meantime it’s still Santa . . .
Two turtle shells
. . . which I’m pretty sure are illegal to import, and I’m really not sure what to do with, but they are pretty . . .
And a shovel to plant a pear tree

On the Third Day of Christmas, Santa gave to me
. . . Day three and still no true love, but Santa keeps bringing me stuff, so who’s complaining . . .
Three French Hens
. . . Now, I know I said we did not need any more pets, but these hens lay eggs and, well, I think they’ll be legal in Sacramento soon – I hope so . . .
Two turtle shells
And a shovel to plant a pear tree

On the Fourth Day of Christmas, Santa gave to me
Four Calling Friends
. . . which is really a cool gift, because a lot of my friends do not call very often and I’m thinking I’ve got a few more days of this, so I might hear from just about everybody . . .
Three French Hens
Two turtle shells
And a shovel to plant a pear tree
. . . did I mention that Santa did NOT bring the pear tree; so am I supposed to get my own or something . . .

On the Fifth Day of Christmas, Santa gave to me
Five Golden Rings
. . . now, this is getting my hopes up that the true love might be on the way . . .
Four Calling Friends
. . . glad it was not the same four friends today; it is nice to hear from folks . . .
Three French Hens
Two turtle shells
And a shovel to plant a pear tree
. . . I am a bit worried about tomorrow, because I have the hens now and I certainly do not need geese – I cannot imagine them being legal in my lifetime . . .

On the Sixth Day of Christmas, Santa gave to me
Six Peace Signs Praying
. . . Okay, I think it’s a psychedelic thing, but I like it – Peace out Santa! . . .
Five Golden Rings
Four Calling Friends
Three French Hens
Two turtle shells
And a shovel to plant a pear tree

On the Seventh Day of Christmas, Santa gave to me
Seven Swans a’swimming
. . . now you just have to understand that Swan is a family name and these were actually distant relatives and, yes, it WAS nice to see them . . .
Six Peace Signs Praying
Five Golden Rings
Four Calling Friends
Three French Hens
Two turtle shells
And a shovel to plant a pear tree

On the Eighth Day of Christmas, Santa gave to me
Eight Maids a’cleaning
. . . and, let me tell you, the house needed it; now, THAT is one nice gift . . .
Seven Swans a’swimming
. . . a whole different branch of the family today – how nice . . .
Six Peace Signs Praying
Five Golden Rings
Four Calling Friends
. . . and, thanks for the messages, but I’m busy entertaining relatives from out of town and could not answer; I’ll get back to you after the holiday rush . . .
Three French Hens
Two turtle shells
And a shovel to plant a pear tree
. . . everybody’s getting shovels for Christmas next year; I have plenty now; still no tree . . .

On the Ninth Day of Christmas, Santa gave to me
Nine Ladies dancing
. . . great, but next time let’s go out somewhere with good music and really let loose . . .
Eight Maids a’cleaning
Seven Swans a’swimming
Six Peace Signs Praying
. . . okay, I’m starting to pray for peace, too, now. . .
Five Golden Rings
Four Calling Friends
Three French Hens
. . . thank goodness for those eggs or I wouldn’t know how to feed all these relatives . . .
Two turtle shells
. . . and, boy, do these shells make great bowls, now that there is not a clean dish to be found anywhere in the house . . .
And a shovel to plant a pear tree

On the Tenth Day of Christmas, Santa gave to me
Ten Lords a’Leaping
. . . so, is one of these guys supposed to be my true love; I feel like the Bachelorette on that reality show . . .
Nine Ladies dancing
Eight Maids a’cleaning
. . . I guess I need to actually ask these gals to wash the dishes . . .
Seven Swans a’swimming
Six Peace Signs Praying
Five Golden Rings
Four Calling Friends
. . . sorry about that ‘mailbox full’ message everyone; I’ll get around to listening to all the messages soon . . .
Three French Hens
Two turtle shells
And a shovel to plant a pear tree

On the Eleventh Day of Christmas, Santa gave to me
Eleven Pipers piping
. . . I always thought this was a musical reference, but, with all these guests, working plumbing is critical; I hope electricians are next . . .
Ten Lords a’Leaping
Nine Ladies dancing
Eight Maids a’cleaning
Seven Swans a’swimming
Six Peace Signs Praying
Five Golden Rings
Four Calling Friends
Three French Hens
Two turtle shells
And a shovel to plant a pear tree
. . . still waiting for a tree to plant and practically holding my breath for Santa’s last chance at the true love thing tomorrow. . .

On the Twelfth Day of Christmas, Santa gave to me
Twelve Drummers Drumming
. . . I always enjoy a good drum circle and the dancers are loving it . . .
Eleven Pipers piping
. . . plumbing is now working fine, Thank you . . .
Ten Lords a’Leaping
. . . apparently, they were just here to entertain the dancing ladies and my out of town guests . . .
Nine Ladies dancing
. . . tap dancers today – just a bit on the noisy side . . .
Eight Maids a’cleaning
. . . and even the dishes got done, Thank you . . .
Seven Swans a’swimming
. . . I especially appreciate the invitations to Australia and Scotland; it will be nice to see you all again soon . . .
Six Peace Signs Praying
. . . I think it is starting to work – looking forward to tomorrow . . .
Five Golden Rings
. . . I don’t know what to do with all these rings; maybe I’ll get one of the envelopes they advertise on tv . . .
Four Calling Friends
. . . since my voice mailbox is full, I really have no way of knowing if four more friends called today; I hope they call back later . . .
Three French Hens
. . . still not legal, but the eggs are great . . .
Two turtle shells
. . . turns out these make great stepping stones in the backyard, so I can gather eggs without getting muddy shoes . . .
And a shovel to plant a pear tree
. . . Santa finally left a note saying this is not a good time of year for planting and suggesting I get trees in the spring; maybe I’ll pick up a true love in the spring too . . . 

Merry Christmas

I am sitting here, looking at Christmas Tree number 2 (number 1 is outside with bird treats hanging from it, safe from catching fire and burning down my house), and waiting for my daughter to call.  This is the first Christmas in my life on which I have awakened in an otherwise empty house – alone.  It is the first Christmas of her life that we have not awakened together.  It is strange. 

Later my daughter will be here, friends will come by and we will visit other friends.  Until then, I have made a pot of coffee, turned on the Christmas lights and am reading a book, writing in my journal and generally having a pleasant morning.  On any other day, I think I would cherish such a morning.  But, this morning it feels lonely. 

Perhaps that is why I have come here to reach out.  I will not know who reads this, if anybody does.  But, I will know that I have expressed myself .  That, for me, is enough right now.  For most of my life, I have allowed the lack of appropriate response from other people to keep me from expressing myself.  My new year’s resolution for 2008 was to express myself anyway.  So, here I am, keeping my resolution and feeling rather good about it.   What a lovely Christmas present to myself.