“Are you ready for Christmas?”
It seems like an innocent enough question, but it isn’t. Not by a long shot. It’s as loaded as a 44 these days, and the answer is “NO!”. It was all I could do not to shout , “No” to the acquaintance who asked me that today. I am not even close to being ready for Christmas. I have purchased a measly three presents. I just got the tree up, and it took me the entire weekend to do that. I have no idea what to get my husband, and my relationship with a particular family member is painfully nonexistent right now. Ah, the season is upon me, and all I can think about is when it will be over. My attitude sucks, frankly.
I don’t get depressed this time of year like some folks, but I don’t really enjoy Christmas like I used to. We used to have big noisy Christmases at our house with lots of presents and a big breakfast, but all of that changed when my nephew died eight years ago. Since his death it just hasn’t been the same. I’ve made an effort for Teen Angel’s sake, but my heart hasn’t really been in it. I enjoy spending time with family and special events at church and with friends, but I hate the commercialism and the spend, spend, spend atmosphere. I just have a hard time shopping when I see families struggling to make a holiday out of an empty wallet or senior citizens choosing between food and medicine. I will never forget as a child standing in the grocery store with my mother at Christmas and watching an elderly blind man who was dirty and shabbily dressed, standing by the country hams. He inhaled deeply and said to no one in particular, “That sho does smell good.” He savored the moment, and obviously a memory and walked away without a ham. He obviously couldn’t afford it. The stores are full of folks like that this time of year, and it breaks my heart. I realize there are so many things to appreciate and enjoy about the holidays, but I feel really torn the whole season between laughter and a lump in my throat. I would be very happy with skipping gifts, attending church and having a big meal with family and calling it a day. But the world doesn’t spin that way, so I must make a better effort to get some perspective on the season.
For about two months now, I’ve been attending Al-Anon, and it’s been a great help in learning how to deal with the alcoholic in my life because it makes me focus on my behavior. They have a saying, “Fake it until you can make it,” which is a way of saying do it until you really feel like doing it. And that’s what I shall do in the next few days, fake it until I feel the Christmas spirit. I know it will come around. It always does. I just can’t keep worrying about it. I have too much to do, mainly shopping. Besides, my band fruit is in, I have a party to go to Friday night, and Special Delivery gets to portray baby Jesus in the March to the Manger at SuperCop’s and Mrs. Scrubs’ church. There’s just something about a baby this time of year……