Redeye Christmas

This year, I’m breaking tradition.

In the past you’d most likely find me 36,000 feet above the earth at some point during Christmas day, heading for or from New York, usually on a redeye flight; steeped in nervous anticipation or abject failure, depending on which direction the plane was traveling.

If it was pointed west, I was running over what went wrong and who said what in my head; steaming that my trip got cut short again; hoping that someday I could make peace with the catalyst that never failed to put me in this situation.

If the plane was pointed east, I was getting psyched for the Knicks games I’d surely be at, and the late nights in restaurants and bars with my uncles, listening to them tell stories about our crazy family; all of it leading to the grand finale: New York City on New Years Eve.

One year, because of how my school’s vacation schedule worked out, I landed at JFK or LaGuardia (can’t remember which) an hour or two before the ball drop in Times Square. My uncles picked me up in a rented cargo-van, loaded with fireworks and champagne. That was a fun night.

But not one to be outdone this year. As much as I love New York at Christmas, this time around I’m staying put. No more will I choke down honey-roasted peanuts for Christmas dinner, or breakfast. Never again will I fantasize about joining the mile-high club with the magnificent redhead two rows in front of me. I’ve explored my last airport terminal during layover, dammit.

This year, I’m breaking tradition.

Not because I want to have a “normal” Christmas. Bah-friggin-humbug. I just want to get some rest. And rest isn’t something one gets if they’re involved in the Christmas rush. So action must be taken, or, rather, inaction.

I won’t go to the malls and battle the river people lugging bags of gifts. I refuse to watch “It’s a Wonderful Life.” And under no circumstances will I sing “The Twelve Days of Christmas,” “Jingle Bells” or “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.”

I will conduct my protest of Christmas in the comfort of my home. I’ll watch old World War II, “Indiana Jones” and “The Lord of the Rings” movies. I will not attend any family functions or “Christmas” parties. Tell them I am regrettably detained by an urgent battle to save Middle Earth from the clutches of Halli- Wait! I mean Sauron.

I’ll watch in a near hysterical and completely awe-struck state as the Red Sox acquire Alex Rodriguez and create a team designed for one end – achieving the acme of failure and suffering ultimate humiliation at the hands of the Yankees.

Sorry Boston, that tradition will never be broke.

I’m going to catch up on homework. Watch e-bay for cymbals that I can add to drum kit. Write some songs. Play some video games. Go to the beach. Or not leave the house at all. Just stock up on Spaghetti-O’s and sangria, and then hunker down for three weeks in isolation.

As long as I’m not spending Christmas en route to the opposite side of the continent, I’m happy.

This year, I’m breaking tradition.