My body had other ideas. I started to feel uncomfortable. I tried going to the bathroom to relieve the feelings. There I discovered a gift that had not been on my list to Santa. Unlike most 13 year old girls, I had not been eagerly awaiting my first period. I wanted to stay a child. Still, I knew it had to happen eventually, and the fresh white underwear I'd put on that morning did include a bra. I figured I'd tell Mom, put in my very first maxi pad, and go back to enjoying Christmas. I was a bit deluded. None of the books I'd read or the health classes I'd had really mentioned menstrual cramps. They kept emphasising that the blood didn't mean you were hurt or injured, like we were supposed to freak out about the blood. They failed to mention the overwhelming urge to curl up on the couch clutching your lower abdomen and moaning. I left off the moaning, as it seemed a bit over the top. Also not covered in the books or class was the fact that the maxi pads of the time did not work so well, even when fresh and new. They bunched up between your legs and so you ended up getting blood all over your best white underpants anyway. I instantly not a fan of my period. That Christmas was pretty much ruined for me, though I did feel better several hours later. At least I knew that I'd have no trouble remembering the exact date of my first period when I had a daughter of my own who wanted to know.
By last Christmas the hypothetical daughter of my own who I would tell the tale to when she wondered when she'd get her own first period was worryingly tardy about the appointment she had with my womb. I'd gone to see my doctor about it, and was armed with the command to put on five pounds and go in for blood tests on the third day of my next cycle. Now this Christmas I'm no closer to that hypothetical daughter, not to mention spending it away from my parents for the first time ever. Margaret is in New Zealand on a belated honeymoon and Dad just had a procedure to deal with some early prostate issues, so there wan't any point to going home when my parents weren't going to be up to hosting us. Warren and I did our solstice vigil, but we didn't even bother considering making a party of it, and I didn't even consider getting a tree. I just can't get into it. I think if there's still no baby by this time next year I won't ever be able to really enjoy the holiday again. I may not believe in Santa any more, but I'm starting to believe there is a Grinch, and its my uterus.