I’ve been trying to put my finger on when and what caused me to stop enjoying the holiday season. I know that up through high school I liked Thanksgiving and Christmas a lot and looked forward to them each year. Maybe it was my sophomore year in college when my mother dis-owned me and told me I couldn’t come home for Christmas because I had a girlfriend instead of a boyfriend. Maybe it was because after high school I felt a lot of pressure to buy a lot of presents for people who only seemed to love me if I followed their rules even though I was a poor college student and had no money for all of that. Maybe it started when I moved far, far away from my birth family to escape their tyrannical governing over my life and the pressure and guilt they put on me to travel home to spend the holidays with them each year when I really wanted to be with the people who loved and supported me throughout the year. Maybe it is how the stores insist on putting Christmas decorations out earlier and earlier every year and the commercialism of the holidays takes over the true meaning of why we’re supposed to celebrate. Maybe it’s because Candace loves Christmas so much and I feel pressured to enjoy it too. Maybe it’s all of the excess, extravagance and gluttony. Maybe it’s because I really don’t consider myself a Christian anymore. Maybe it’s because I hate travelling during the holidays and dealing with all of the crowds and stressed out people, sleeping in someone else’s bed and being friendly 24/7 when I don’t feel like it. Maybe it’s just all of it. It’s all just exhausting and every year I dread it.
I’m not a scrooge, really. I do love a lot about the holidays. I love to drive around and look at the way people decorate their homes for the holidays. I enjoy the parties and the cookies and the fruit cake even. I enjoy decorating the tree and watching it light up my living room every evening. I like to buy meaningful gifts for people and see them smile with surprise and happiness when they get something they really like or that was unexpected yet thoroughly appreciated. I love the smells of the holidays and the delicious tastes as well.
Somehow, at some point, the magic of the season died for me. Now, it’s just something I have to endure and get through. I miss the simplicity of the Christmas of my youth when things were simpler. Being an adult sucks sometimes and this is one of them. I know, attitude is everything and I have a lousy one. I try, really I do. I put on that happy face and soldier on but inside, I just really want to stay home and have that simple Christmas that I miss so much without all of the guilt and stress.
But hey, I survived another year and am home again in my favorite chair now and I’m contemplating the new year about to start. New Year’s still has its magic for me. I look forward to it. It means I survived Christmas and another year and get to look forward to starting fresh with new goals or maybe the same ones but a fresh start either way. Clean slate, no more Christmas songs on the radio or decorations in my house and time to reflect on what I want to do with the next 12 months of my life. It’s like cracking open a new book you’ve been dying to read. What will happen in the new year? What will I be thankful for at the end of this new year? It’s a mystery because even with goals and plans you just never know what’s going to happen.
HAPPY NEW YEAR!! What are you hoping to make happen in 2016?