Christmas is a complex holiday for me. In this regard, I suspect I am not alone.
I don’t know when it got so complicated, when I began snapping back and forth between troughs of grief and peaks of joy. And while I’m quite capable of speculating on the why’s, in the end I know the fruits of such analyzation to be flavorless.
The weather outside my window matches how I feel. It’s gloomy and it’s pissing rain. And did I mention that it’s Christmas! The brightest, happiest day of the year? The day that’s supposed to be filled with dreams fulfilled and sunshine sparkling off every flake of newly fallen fucking snow? Hell, that’s the way I remember it! That’s the way it should be. This is all… wrong.
Since Thanksgiving, I’ve been marking off the days, but not in anticipation. Let’s just get this shit behind us and move on with life. Blah. Blerch. Blargh.
I wish I didn’t feel this way. I wish I could connect more to the spirit of the season. Especially because everyone else seems to be having such a good time (you are, right?). Especially because my own memory swears to me that the joy of Christmas morning is unparalleled. Especially because I really do get to see that joy reflected back to me in the eyes of my children… and yes, it’s quite wonderful.
Like I said, Christmas is complicated, man.
I share these thoughts for the same reason I write anything. It feels better for me to do so. And I want to feel the relief of letting go of the feelings I try to stuff in a closet at Christmastime.
This is the time of year when I miss my parents. This is the time of year when I feel intense pressure to meet the expectations of others. This is the time of year when I feel the powerful disconnect of hanging on to some idealized vision of the past that the present cannot seem to touch.
I suppose I want to let myself off the hook here and remind myself that this is okay. It’s perfectly fine. In fact, it’s perfect.
I can let go of all of my ideas about what Christmas should be, I can give up that silent fight — the fight that inevitably leaves me bruised — and I can decide to allow myself to just be with the feelings that surface. To look them in the eye. To acknowledge them with the respect and appreciation they deserve. To let them be what they are. To let me be who I am. And to see what’s really here NOW.
Let the adventure begin.