The Breadcrumbs widget will appear here on the published site.
Plane Tickets from Santa
By Fay Funk
Christmas is always pleasant but the actual events are always hazy. I open presents with my family, and we go and see a movie. The years all blend together.
The days before Christmas, however, come back to me easily. One of my fondest Christmas memories is from my freshman year of college. Finals were over and the dorms were closing down for the holidays. My roommates and I were preparing for our last night of the year in our room before we all headed home, to Oregon, Washington, and Colorado. We were hungry, but the dining halls were all closed. So we ordered delivery tacos. We chose tacos because we didn’t have any forks, so we had to get a food we could eat with our hands. It was cold and snowy in New York, and we gave the deliveryman about a 70 percent tip for coming out. Then we sat in a circle on the floor of our room, eating tacos and talking. The next day, we all left for home.
I am fortunate to be close enough to my family to spend the holidays with them, but my friends are more far-flung. Some still live in New York, some in Washington D.C., and some live even further away, in countries like Tibet and El Salvador. There is no holiday set aside to go see your friends. Not that there should be necessarily, though it would make getting together easier. Coordinating among people in four different states and three different countries can get complicated.
Over the summer my friends and I managed to coordinate a get-together in New York City that felt as important as any holiday. It can only happen about once a year, and we all take time off from our jobs and internships to just hang out. And it will always feel too short.
I have never cared very much about getting presents, and for most of my life have never known what to ask for. But for the next few years I know what I want: a round-trip ticket to New York City at some point in the year, when it works for all of my friends and me to be there. I have a Christmas bonus and some funds of my own so I can help out “Santa” (aka my parents) when the time comes to buy the ticket. It seems like a good use of my Christmas resources.
Tacos will always seem a bit like a Christmas food to me. It’s a little quirk that makes this time of year more memorable. Cheap delivery tacos are not a food you usually get with your family; it’s food you get with your friends. When the time comes for me to cash in my Christmas present and go back to New York City to see all my friends we will probably get tacos at midnight, and remember our first almost-Christmas together.