As the holiday season nears an old familiar feeling rises. Deep profound sadness flows in like the rising tide and I greet it like an old but annoying friend. I really don’t know why it happens but I’m sure I’m not alone in feeling this way. It doesn’t come from my expectations being too high. I figured out keeping expectations low ensured minimal disappointment when I was just a young girl. Perhaps it rolls in because it is an annual event that can highlight the past for review and comparison. What was, what should have been and what can be no more. Nothing like nostalgia to bring on the depths of depression.
I don’t have a problem with this being a reflective time that spirals me down now that I know it’s coming. The real issue is not raining on everyone else’s parade. I smile, politely decline cookie swaps and deflect tacky sweater parties while decorating like I mean it. I plod through stores to the beat of endless Christmas songs and carefully select bad gifts. Cards are mailed and warm wishes sent. The entire time I keep wishing for January. Most people are sensitive to those without families or that are facing unhappy circumstances but totally oblivious to people who should think this is the “happiest time of the year”. Assumptions are made that there will be family gatherings and joyous celebrating. Not all families are the same and having a family does not protect you from holiday blues. I think there are a lot of us out there smiling our way through the holidays and crying alone in our cars while listening to “Where are You Christmas?”. If only we could recognize each other with a nod or secret handshake and offer support.
I will get through the holidays with the help of spiked eggnog and constantly reminding myself that the true meaning of Christmas is not enforced celebrating, but love . I will find pleasure in small things, take some time to rest and try not to stroll down memory lane without proper protective gear and pepper spray. I do love Christmas lights and filling my husband’s stocking with surprises. I like our Advent Calendar with tiny pockets of candy. I enjoy giving gifts once I have hunted them down and painstakingly wrapped them using minimal paper and yards of tape. I can take comfort that soon I will be putting the Christmas decorations up and it will be over, even if I can’t help having the morbid thought that “one Christmas I will put these away and not live to take them out next year”. Everyone celebrates the holidays in their own way. Mine just happens to be a bit more melancholy than merry.
If you read this and feel I have rained on your parade, deepest apologies. This particular blog was not meant for people who believe this is the “happiest time of the year” but for the ones that approach the holidays with a heavy heart and try their very hardest to look happy and not spoil your special time. It’s Blue Christmas every year but we are going to be okay.