Every year, right before Christmas, I go to The Target to buy myself an ornament for the tree. One of those absurdly expensive ones (for The Target, I should clarify) made out of the tiny hands of Ethiopian kids or by collecting the tears of the Unicorn that lives atop Mount Olympus. I’m not really sure. I’m not an ornament-maker.

It’s one of the more sentimental things I do. I mean, I’m the person that’s like, what the SHIT am I gonna do with all of these kids drawings? Sure, I love looking at them, but do I need to save every fucking one of the pages of scribbles just so someday, my kid can look back on it and be all, “Fuck, I was a terrible artist?” I think no.

We all know I’m not overly sentimental…until it comes to these ornaments. I try to select, from the supply that’s long-since been depleted because I am both lazy and cheap (sales make me happy in the pants), something that represents either the year before or the year ahead.

For both Alex and Amelia’s first Christmas, I bought them two crystal-studded “Baby’s First Christmas” ornaments – one in blue and the other in pink, clearly for the year that passed.

Of course, these remain locked into the box of nice ornaments for another year while I display the very cheapest of ugly plastic ornaments – I’m afraid I’d burst into the Ugly Cry if one of those got misplaced.

This year, the selection being “pink for breast cancer,” a smattering of initials, and a couple of “for teacher” ones, I found the one I wanted to represent the coming year.

2011 was the year of losses – both great and small. I won’t wax poetic about the lessons I’ve learned because I didn’t really learn anything beyond “I’m an asshole,” and “other people are assholes.” Frankly, I knew that going IN to 2011, so it’s not like I need to sit back and be all nostalgic about all that I’ve lost. Who does that?

Anyway.

I don’t want to sit around with my thumb up my ass being all *sad trombone* here. I’ve had enough of that lately (it’s January, after all) and frankly, The Ugly Cry is starting to break capillaries in my face.

For 2012, I bought a simple ornament. It has one word on it.

Hope.

This year, I hope.

And I do.

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