There is to be no tree. You pondered cutting one down or purchasing one hacked by another, but then you realized you live inside a box made of wood and there are bugs and wildlife living in your walls, so it’s kind of like one GIANT tree you are gasping inside. You hang tinsel and decorative lights on your limbs and call it enough.
There is to be no caroling or instrumental holiday songs, but you consider dancing to the beat of clocks ticking away in every room, not quite in synch but you like that they are autonomous (like you). You almost burn your tongue on the coffee, but it’s just not hot enough. So you imbibe and you putter and you contemplate how to be alone while the rain outside tries to wash away twelve months of disappoint.
There are no presents to open, so you close your eyes and grab a book off your shelf. Carefully, you place it onto the already-read newspaper and wrap it up. It is to be a surprise, though you hope it is poetry or you hope it is one you’ve forgotten to read or you hope the postal workers forgot it is a holiday and deliver anyway.
There will be no jolly, slightly overweight white man climbing down your chimney, as you do not have one and prefer to be alone anyway. You have no doorbell to be wrung and one needs to be quite agile to knock on your windows, so you do not wait to be visited. There is day-old soup on your stovetop and almost-stale ingredients in your fridge.
There will only be you, dressed in your evening sleepwear, a morning progressing into day then night on the other side of your windows. There will be lights to turn off or on, a radio full of static, outlets to plug things into and drawers to take things out of. Oh, and a mouse (or mice) somewhere in the nooks of where you live, expertly avoiding all traps, trying to bring you some holiday cheer.
A Christmas alone, as they are often, for many.