Sweet zombie Jesus, am I ever glad that’s over.
I just wasn’t feeling it this year. I tried. I really did try, but the Spirit of Christmas just didn’t grab a hold of my candy cane like it used to this time around.
Was it due to the ever-increasing cynicism that seems to grow within me every time I open up Facebook these days?
Yeah, probably. But that’s not all of it, I think.
This year’s approach and ultimate delivery of the holiday season just seemed a bit, well, much to me. With the emergence of a couple unexpected twists this December, I kinda just wanted Christmas to make a quick appearance, have its fill of guilt-driven commercialism and nougat-filled holiday promises then leave me alone to forge my way into another new year, however I saw fit.
I just wasn’t myself this year.
I think I mostly just went through the motions this time, trying to focus my lackluster energy where I felt it most needed to be, just to get through it all. That being said, I apologize to my loved ones, friends and family, for not being there a hundred percent this Christmas. Shoot, most years I usually run at about a decent 85 or 90% (large-scale socializing is actually a tough thing for me), but this year I don’t think I gave much more effort than I did on my senior year math final, and believe me, that was dismal. It just wasn’t in me to really celebrate the Christmas season this year.
I did enjoy visiting with friends and family again, absolutely. But I think the timing was just off for me, that’s all. But, of course, that’s when everyone is together, isn’t it? If I could have, I would have loved to be able to put Christmas on hold for a wee bit, just so I could sort myself out a little and give proper attention and energy to those in my life who deserve it. I didn’t really want to do it, celebrate Christmas that is. Not then, anyway. Not at that time.
But I did it anyway, ‘cause it’s not just about me anymore. Not that it ever was, of course, but it almost felt like that sometimes when I was much younger. If it were just about me, I think I could have very easily holed myself up in my basement this year for a good long while, filling my time with movies and occasional bits of writing as I patiently waited for the last of the outside Christmas lights to come down in the neighborhood, only to resume my measly existence as a basic member of society at about the same time most people have already given up on their New Year’s resolutions.
But, thankfully, it’s not just me I have to think about. I have family; parents, siblings (one possibly legitimate, others by marriage), aunts and uncles, cousins and grandparents, friends that have long since attained “family” status, and of course, my loving and supportive wife. Most importantly, however, are my kids.
If Christmas time belongs to anybody, it’s for the kids in the world. And I wasn’t going to let my feelings get in the way of Christmas for them. At least, I hope I didn’t. Not too much, anyway.
We wrote letters to Santa (yes, apparently reindeer do prefer a healthy vegetable smoothie blend to milk and cookies – they can’t all be fat like Santa.) We baked and decorated with icing. We put up the tree, the lights, and the decorations throughout the house. We went on small road trips to do stuff like visiting 12 foot tall gingerbread houses and pulling the wee ones on a sled as we ice skated over a frozen mountain lake. We watched a Christmas parade, enjoyed traditional holiday movies, and listened to our favourite Christmas stories. We visited with family constantly during our time back home for the holidays, bouncing from venue to venue and people to people for breakfasts, brunch, lunch and dinners. We let the kids get scooped up by doting relatives (at a reduced family rate of $4.99/minute) and showered with gifts, enjoying the giggles and laughs they shared with all those so eager to see them again. We opened presents, we let them sneak chocolates and goodies, and thought forlornly about how quickly they had grown.
I don’t think I was as good as I could have been for them this Christmas. I might have been just good enough, really, but not much more. Thankfully, my kids have a ton of other people who love them a great deal and want the best for them that they didn’t even notice.
I hope so, anyway. Kids can be pretty forgiving.
It was just bad timing this year, that’s all. I just couldn’t get into it. But I wanted to, for the kids…
But I guess there’s always next year, right?
Shoot… next year, the little munchkins will even better understand what’s really going on during the holidays! Let’s face it; the wee girl? She was just over a year old in December. She wasn’t making memories this time around anyways, right? She just wanted to eat wrapping paper for three weeks, so no big loss there. And the little guy? Well, he’s pretty astute, but he was still just a little too overwhelmed with the concept that some fat guy goes around all night giving away free presents to really care about too much else.
And hey! Next year, all three of us can team up together and try to convince the wife that outdoor Christmas lights have been remarketed as “Winter Lights” (yet are conveniently still compatible with our old lights) and should henceforth be proudly displayed as soon as the first case of Daylight Savings Time Clinical Depression is reported in the Canadian healthcare system, rather than abiding by the traditional “Not until AFTER my birthday!” clause she keeps reminding me off. Sheesh. We’ll vastly outnumber her next year, so ya never know.
And there’s that fabricated hoof-on-a-stick I assembled in the fall but never got around to using this year to make it look like Santa’s reindeer had trampled around the back yard in search of reindeer food (oatmeal n’ glitter.) Like I said, having fully embraced the commercial side of Christmas, the eldest of the offspring only wanted assurances that his written request for a Paw Patrol Sea Patroller Action Vehicle (PPSPAV for not-much-shorter) wouldn’t be for naught, and that’s it. He couldn’t care less about feeding the help in minus thirty degree weather. Next year, dammit.
It’s just been that kind of end-of-year for me this time around. Thankfully, I can try to put it all in perspective and remind myself that it’s not necessarily how you manage to spend the holidays with friends and family, but that I can consider myself lucky enough to have them to celebrate with in the first place.
I hope you guys and gals out there all had a wonderful Christmas season.
And now, since it is nearly mid-January by the time I finally get this off my chest, I think we can all agree in telling that silly ol’ holiday to just take a hike and not come back until I’ve run out of my son’s Halloween candy in late fall. At least.
Thanks for listening. I feel better now.