This was my first Christmas alone. I estranged myself from my family, and my best friend is out of the country. I have disappeared from pretty much everyone I know outside of work and need a lot of time and space to clear my head. I always thought that Christmas time was my favorite time of year, but I think I like the idea of Christmas, but not the reality of it. At least not the ones I have experienced through my adult life. I always wanted to be with my family around the holidays, but it took walking away from them to realize how much justifying I had to do to enjoy the holiday. I dreaded going home more and more every year, and would always drag someone along with me. Maybe if we hadn't had this whole pandemic mess this never would have happened. But this year I couldn't do it anymore. I couldn't deal with the awkwardness, the fighting, the boomer humor, the constant…constant quips and jokes and puns…on top of the gaslighting and guilt. I had two days off with total peace and quiet. It may have been my favorite Christmas ever. Happy Holidays!