Just yesterday, I was scrolling through my Instagram feed and came across a photo posted by a vintage-seller I follow.
In it, she was sitting cross-legged on the floor with a bowl of noodles in her lap, the remote control in her hand. The caption said she was in her happy place: Cozied up with some carbohydrates and the Investigation Discovery channel.
Now, I don’t know this woman from Adam, but I can spot a kindred spirit when I see one.
“Looks like you and I have the same idea of fun,” I commented. “This is exactly how I plan to spend Christmas.”
And it’s true, too. While the rest of America tears into shiny wrapped presents and sips hot cocoa around the tree (that’s what people do, right?), I’ll be curling up under a blanket in the 10-inch-square space my dogs spare for me on the couch, tearing into a plate of pasta, while detectives solve cold cases on my TV.
I couldn’t be more excited about it if I tried.
Because I don’t have kids, I have for years volunteered to work on Christmas Day. After all, I don’t need the morning to sit and watch little ones open those new toys — nor am I exhausted from being up late the night before, building them.
I never minded it in the least. The shift is usually a slow one, and the most strenuous news story you’re likely to cover is interviewing other people who are working that day.
Truth be told, for most of those years, it would barely register to me that it was a holiday at all.
This year, however, by random circumstance, I’ve found myself with the day off.
When I first realized it, I felt this sort of weird, instant pressure. Like my calendar, with its number 25 and the word “off,” meant I had to, like, HAVE CHRISTMAS. Whatever that might mean.
Cook a big meal? Decorate the house? Take all those empty boxes I’m hoarding to ship Poshmark orders in and wrap them up to look like gifts?
I wasn’t sure, but it was freaking me out a little.
So I asked Dan and the dogs if they thought I should do something special. And if so, what?
Put up a tree? Sing carols? Hang stockings? Dress like Santa?
“Um, I was just thinking we’d nap, mostly,” Dan said, speaking for all three of them, and, thankfully, letting me off the hook.
It really was the perfect gift.
Now, I can still basically treat the day like any other Tuesday — but with the added bonus of not going into the office.
Not only that, but Netflix just recently added a new six-part true crime documentary called “An Innocent Man,” and I’m not caught up on ID’s “Deadly Legacy” either, so there will be yuletide murder shows a’plenty.
Top that off with a big ol’ plate of cacio e pepe, and you’re looking at a girl with a newfound love of Noel.
I doubt it sounds too terribly appealing to most people — but it certainly has the makings of a very merry Christmas for me.
Happy holidays to everyone out there.
I hope you, too, are blessed with whatever makes you happiest this season.
Katie McDowell is a lifestyles writer/copy editor for The Dominion Post. Feel free to share with her how you like to spend your holidays (particularly if that includes any true crime shows she may not have seen yet), at kmcdowell@dominionpost