Christmas was magical when I was a child. Presents, lights, company in the house – all were events greatly anticipated. We were giddy with excitement when we started counting the days. (Mom only let us start the count after Thanksgiving.)
Kris Kringle (which was really my cousin Evelyn in costume) dropped by with a sack of gifts on December 6 to kick off the season.
My grade school had an annual Christmas pageant. One year my mother had to sew a skirt out of white crepe paper with a red ribbon sash. She was a fabulous seamstress but preferred fabric to crepe paper. She said some naughty words that only came out when she thought I wasn’t in earshot. (By the way, I was always in earshot!)
As you get older things get different. The holidays are just like any other day. Ok, there are still lights and maybe a holiday party but it’s incredibly hard to give a surprise gift. (I never wake up to a new Lexus in the driveway!)
People get sick regardless of the holidays and people die. My Dad died two weeks after Christmas. My friend just lost her mother. It takes the joy out of the season.
Many years ago I had surgery on December 29. That wasn’t a festive year either. That amped up stress in a way that buying Christmas presents did not.
People divorce and traditions get upended. The concept of a “Currier and Ives” holiday disappearing into the snowy mist.
News headlines don’t add to the cheer either. Could one reporter put a positive spin on a story rather than dig for “who is to blame?”
The expectations of wonder that were implanted as a child slowly disintegrate to the point where you have to remind yourself what it’s all about.
Divorcing yourself of the fantasies, you need to revisit the season with new eyes.
John Lennon was right you know. So what have you done?
This post is for Lynn