The holidays are over, Praise the Lord. Don’t get me wrong, with the exception of people who actually observe it, no one loves Christmas more than I do. It’s so festive and merry! And the after Christmas sales are nothing to sneeze at, either. My family and I flew to North Carolina to visit with my in-laws. And then we flew back to visit with the couch.
Because my parents and I are Soviet-born, New Year’s Eve is a really big holiday for us and the pressure to be HAPPY and FESTIVE is serious. Soviet era people were not permitted to observe religious holidays, so it was basically New Year’s or nothing. And New Year’s it was.
This year, Mama suggested that we spend it together, and that seemed like a fun idea until she started calling me and saying things like “I hope you’re thinking of making it fun and festive for everyone” which is sort of uncanny because at that very moment I was trying to calculate how many more hours there were until The Bachelor started again. And as soon as Mama said that, I felt the weight of a thousand Siberian winters and the oppression that my ancestors endured so that I could make a festive and glorious New Year’s Eve for my family.
But somehow it came together. My friend Susan stopped by for a glass or three of wine and talking about books, and so did my other friend Susan, and then my friend Ines and her family and before we knew it, we were all sitting around talking about Hitler. Because I don’t know what could be more festive than talking about Hitler.
I don’t know how it started, I assume Papa was trying to push Churchill’s History of World War II he just read on everyone and then Ines started talking about a book she lent me about Nazis and asked me if I’d read it and I said “yes, sure” but then remembered that I’m trying to be a “better person” and lie less especially since everyone seemed committed to discussing these books for the rest of 2012, and chances are at some point she’d ask me a question about it and I’d be caught in a lie, so I confessed and said “oh, no, actually I didn’t” in a way that I hoped didn’t sound like I’d suffered a recent stroke that blurred the lines between my understanding of the concepts of yes and no. This had the unfortunately effect of Ines, whenever she referenced the book, adding “the one that I gave to Marinka but she didn’t read.”
Husbandrinka then promoted his own favorite book on the subject, The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich, which he finds fascinating because it was written by a journalist who was reporting on the events in the 1930s, during the rise of the Nazi party and then when after the war the Americans seized the Nazi records, they gave the author full access to them.
I didn’t have a favorite Nazi-era book, so I mostly just drank champagne. And felt very grateful to be with my fiends and family. And very excited that the holidays were coming to a close and that it was almost time to return to the real life, with work and school, and bedtimes and routines.
Here’s to a great, happy and healthy to 2013. Let’s make it a great one!
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