“Home” for the Holidays

Just do it right, make it perfect and real.

I’ve been getting a lot of giftcards as Christmas presents. Not that I mind, beats the awkwardness of telling family members they really have no idea anymore. iTunes has become a recent favorite as I am more prone to buying full albums this way. Channelling my inner ( or outer) Austin hipster/music snob I bought the latest LCD Soundsystem album This is Happening. That’s when I came across this video.

In case you can’t tell, that robot is me. Holiday Traditions are weird and hard to come by in my family. Usually they involve a lot of me driving around LA to visit the few good friends who still live there.

In the past few years I’ve grown accustomed to having a Christmas experience that is almost completely different from the previous years, save for the driving. I’ve come to realize that perhaps my best Christmas tradition is the interesting and random places I find myself.

Because it’s everything, though everything was never the deal.

One constant the last few years is my friend Max’s Christmas night party in West Hollywood. He has been throwing it the last few years precisely for this kind of thing. Feeling displaced and visiting old friends from junior college at a party designed for the diaspora of friend families that is major cities is a nice tradition to have. And I hope to continue it.

This is the trick, forget a terrible year.

I remember having this conversation two years ago at a similar Christmas gathering in Morristown Tennessee. After much young people party partaking (use your imagination) I remarked that I always seemed to find myself in these situations. At the time I was sincere in saying that I kind of liked how it worked out that way, that Christmas need not be this “traditional” thing. As my Twitter feed indicated over the last few days, the “traditional” thing is bullshit anyway. People who not only have, but thoroughly enjoy, annoyance free family time at Christmas I generally avoid. Or have something even more wrong with them. Either way.

Forget your past, this is your last chance now
And we can break the rules like nothing will last

For me Christmas time is usually an occasion for self-reflection not only of the year, but of life choices I’ve made. Usually those life choices are placed in stark contrast with the families I have come “home” to visit. So while I may not be able to talk to them about anything that I “do” at all with any sense of them getting it, I am reminded of exactly why I like doing what I do and how I have probably made a lot more right choices than not since leaving home.

Because night has such a local ring, and love and rock are bigger things
And you know it

As I returned home to Austin, and to prepare for an epic New Year’s Eve party at my house a new family member had given me the unexpected gift of LCD Soundsystem and this song. And while corks were sabered off of numerous champagne bottles that night with some of the greatest people I’ve ever met, I thought of a band that I was introduced to, here, at Austin City Limits.

And remembered that
A few make sure that you get home, and you stay home.

Happy New Year everyone. I think 2011 is going to be good to a lot of us.

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About Joe Faina

Rhetoric & Media Professor, Writer, Humorist

Posted on 01/04/2011, in Adulthood, California, Christmas, Transition. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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