This one also takes place in Columbus, in 2000. To quote the famous song, I can laugh about it now, but at the time it was terrible.
So it was 2000, and a few months before Xmas, my 3+ year relationship had finally ended, badly. My whole life had turned upside down- I had to move house, lost a lot of friends in the "divorce", and was in no mood to travel home and see my family. Since the split, I'd dated 2 men off and on, casually, but neither of them was (in one case) serious enough or (in the other) geographically close enough to spend the holiday with. It was my first Xmas without a significant other in probably 8 years, and I was profoundly sad and depressed about it.
So I was gonna be spending Xmas alone. I had made no plans for dinner, bought few presents for anyone, and figured I'd just stay at home and drink and watch movies. Luckily, my friend LB was in town for Xmas, and invited me to her folks' house for Xmas dinner. This was the one bright spot that year, as I saw few of my other friends that Xmas, and even the people I used to exchange silly little thrifted joke gifts with were out of my life (for the most part), so I had very little to unwrap (except what my parents and my long distance friends sent me). As I love choosing presents for people, the not shopping for others was way more depressing than the not getting many gifts for Xmas.
But..I did get one very memorable thing for Xmas that year.
It could have been a legacy from either one of the guys I'd dated in the prior months, or maybe from the cheating bastard I'd broken up with in early fall. I never found out, and really, it doesn't matter. But there was something ironic about thinking "I'm getting nothing for Xmas this year" and discovering, oh boy, you got -something-. It was also sorta pathetic that it waited just long enough to show up after I'd effectively stopped dating both men, so I didn't even have the trade-off of, well, you got boy germs, but at least someone else is in the same boat you're in and you can laugh about it together.
Luckily, I discovered it by december 23, and got treatment before the doctor closed office hours for the holiday. That would have been the worst- having to suffer through the discomfort for another 2 days before I could get it treated. And it was all gone by New Year's Day.
Believe me, if you ever get a "lump of coal" in your "stocking" on your loneliest Xmas, you'll laugh about it one day. But probably not at the time.
Since then, Xmas has kicked ass. Last Xmas, JS found his way back into my life, and I got the job offer to move out here. This Xmas, I'm spending Xmas Eve with T and K and some of my Jive friends, and Xmas day with Craig. I'm germ-free (at least, I am at the time of this writing) and hanging out with people who value me. Life is good.
Hope that everyone reading this is having an exceptionally great holiday, and, if not, at least got a laugh out of the above.