The Reason for the Season

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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!