Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Oh Heck No

“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……

7 comments:

Trailboss said...

We are cutting back big time this year. Just gifts for the grandkids and my teenage daughter. It's just the way it is. Gifts for US is not what the season is about anyway. I think if HE had His way we would celebrate His birth in a much different way.

janjanmom said...

Perhaps you should shop for baby first?? That should put you in the mood. Unless that is who your three presents are for...

oreneta said...

What about giving everyone a token gift off something like Etsy http://www.etsy.com/ , so you know it is hand and home made, plus a card that mentions the donation you made in their name to the local food bank. Then buy a whole bunch of hams, and send them on down to the food bank to be distributed. Just thinking...

You'd feel better, and it would be an internet surf plus some cards and a trip to the food bank...and the folks getting the hams would be happy, and the artists would be happy, and hopefully your family would be happy too.

LuckyMe said...

I hear ya, Hula. I feel like a Scrooge, too when i ask everyone if we can please scale back on the gimmes. That's why Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. No gifts!!

In November I wrote about how my parents struggled with Christmas after my oldest brother died. I'm so glad you're making the effort for Teen Angel's sake. She deserves happy memories of the holidays.

A very close friend who fought breast cancer really carried off the "fake it until you can make it" with great style. No matter what treatments she was going through, she never missed a social event, looked beautiful in her wig and smiled and laughed the night away. I learned a very valuable lesson from her.

Good luck with the holiday prep. Scale back if you need to but smile and laugh and gather family and friends. It's good therapy.

karisma said...

I know just where you are coming from, I still have not even gone shopping for Santa presents! It just seems like such a waste when they have so much already!

They will be getting something, but nowhere near what they are used to having. I also can't seem to get motivated with anything Xmassy!

Have you considered helping out in a homeless shelter at xmas or perhaps inviting a complete stranger who has no-one to spend xmas with you? Seeing the joy on others faces is always an uplifting boost to bring back the xmas spirit.

Gerald said...

Sounds like stress overload to me. Been there done that. One thing I have learned in my lifetime (now that I am a senior) is that Christmas comes whether your ready or not and you figure out how to simplifly. I'm with LuckyMe, Thanksgiving is my fav holiday, much more relaxing!

The Girl Next Door said...

I think way more people feel like you than care to admit. Me being One.