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January 5, 2014. We started to take “Christmas” down today. For me, the end of “the season” is always full of melancholy and, sometimes, a bit of dread. From what I’ve been told, it’s a fairly universal response to all of the build up leading to the Christmas holidays. This year, in particular, Christmas felt bittersweet. While I certainly enjoyed the time with my family, the holidays, however, felt stilted and, perhaps, somewhat forced.
|Christmas Morning…ho, ho, ho|
I put on a “good face” and I truly believe I enjoyed being around my immediate family, which includes my sister-in-law. But once the presents were opened and the meal eaten, I just felt empty, which is so very sad. My family has been through so much this year – mostly because of me – and I want them to enjoy our time together. I want them to know that I want more than anything else to spend many, many more Christmases with them.
We hear it all the time – The Reason for the Season. But what does that really mean? For me, what am I supposed to feel during the holidays? I have always struggled with “enjoying” Christmas. It started when I was young, and, as I aged, some years Christmas felt like a burden at times. Once the kids were born, I began to “feel” Christmas…feel what everyone likes to call “Christmas Spirit.” In all honesty, I think I learned to tolerate the holiday season, but not truly embrace it.
Doesn’t that sound terrible? Tolerate Christmas? Sounds pretty pathetic. Yet, there I was – participating, shopping, laughing, enjoying time with others. Was I being a hypocrite? Or just being human? Sometimes it’s just hard to be honest with yourself, and I wonder if some people “bury” themselves in Christmas because they feel they have to, not because they really “feel” the spirit, but because they watch others – or have been conditioned by others to – enjoy the holidays. Maybe I’m the one being honest with myself? I think spending time with your loved ones, regardless of all the cliches, is the true spirit of Christmas. My goal is to find a way to capture that spirit within myself all year, not just for the holidays.
That would be a gift that I would truly enjoy.
So another year of my journey begins….Happy New Year!