It is 5 AM and I am already wide awake. I’ve been having this schedule for quite some time now. I crash when I get home and wake up at some ungodly hour after my requisite 6 hour-sleep time has been satisfied. It is quite unsettling to beat my alarm clock by over an hour for its wake-up call. But I guess it’s not such a bad thing. There aren’t as many distractions at this time. I get to clear my head. Coffee is brewing in my kitchen and my soundtrack of the moment, Spring Awakening, is playing on my IDock.

It is just 5 days before Christmas. (I have already played out my download of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir’s rendition of Handel’s Hallelujah chorus, after an overkill of Sarah McLachlan’s followed by Mariah Carey’s Christmas albums.) I can proudly and happily say that I am done with my shopping. (I think going through another store that sells overpriced tchotchkes will give me nosebleed.) Tim’s gifts are neatly-wrapped underneath the tree (except for the new wool coat hanging in its bag on my rack. I think I’ll just put a ribbon on it.) Gifts for my family and friends lie around in their bags, ready to be hauled away. Yes, it seems the only thing left for me to do is to wait. The time will come for the giving of gifts during the office party (which is tonight) and during holiday dinners with friends and family and my Christmas Eve and Day with Tim (which comes on the 22nd and 23rd since he leaves on the 24th at 5 AM to head back to Atlanta where his family will spend the holiday at his brother’s farm.) This season’s inevitables are made more palpable with each sweet second passing. Will my boss’s kid like her pop-up book? Will my friend like this bottle of wine? Will my aunt like her hobo bag? Will Tim like his shirt? I sit here and look around and imagine the many different reactions to the many different gifts I spent many hours thinking about and looking for. (Giving gifts, after all, is basically an appeal to one’s id and ultimately an expression of one’s affection. It is a process more simply written down than actually lived out. Being in the Union Square Market on a Sunday afternoon in December, for instance, can be like being in Pamplona during a bullrun.) The many different scenarios running through my mind right now make me smile and cherish even more the reason for these gifts to begin with. It cannot get any more complicated than the plain statement that I really like these people and am just grateful to have known them and been with them during this insane year.

How sweet it is when even the waiting partakes in the present.

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