Today, everyone I encounter embodies the spirit of Cranky Christmas. Frazzled with too much to do, in too little time, leaves even the most medicated a bit unhinged.
Not me (not yet). Let the cookies bake. The presents wrap. The parties revel on. Instead of a fevered fa la la, you'll find me absorbed in a book: Everything is Everything by Cristin O'Keefe Aptowicz, a slam poet and the author of five poetry books.
Because there's a spunky holiday theme running throughout the collection — in the poems At the Office Holiday Party, The Art of Holiday Spirit: Astoria, Queens, and Season's Greetings — I unofficially crown Cristin the Queen of Tell-It-True Holiday Poets.
Sometimes I don't want to do anything at all,
not even the easy stuff, like decide what I want
to eat for lunch. I found out last night someone
I wished abject loneliness upon is now lonely
and I don't even want to think about how that
makes me feel. Now that's lazy, because maybe
it could make me feel powerful or vindicated,
but I'm thinking probably not. My partner & I
were doing the annual holiday cards last night,
and I kept saying, Who are we forgetting?
Who would be really cheered up by getting
a holiday card from us who's not already
on our list? And my partner said, Um, no one.
I don't think our holiday cards make that much
difference to anyone anyway. And I told him,
Well, if that's how you feel, why are we even
doing holiday cards at all? And we fought
about the joy our holiday cards did or did not
bring into the lives of our friends and family,
but make no mistake: at no time did we ever
stop doing our annual holiday cards:
me, drawing the cartoon versions of us wearing
santa hats or reindeer antlers, and him digging up
inside jokes to put in our talk bubbles, embossing
the back of the envelopes with our dachshund stamp,
the dog we consider an emblem of our relationship
because it words so hard, yet looks so ridiculous.
— Cristin O'Keefe Aptowicz
from Everything is Everything