Thursday, November 30, 2006

Christmas


Not to write another depressing post - but I guess this is in some ways a follow up from last post.

I love Christmas and I hate it.

And let me start out by saying while I know Christmas is a religious holiday to most, to me it has always been about family and giving to those you care about - not about religion.

I love the idea of Christmas. When you're a little kid Christmas is totally about getting toys and hanging out with your family (who you are probably too young to have any issues with). I remember how hard it was to fall asleep on Christmas Eve. My sister and I would wait anxiously and sneak out of our rooms to talk to each other about what would happen in the morning. We always felt as if we couldn't possibly go to sleep because we were too excited. We'd eagerly wait up hoping to hear a reindeer land on the roof (while not entirely sure if we really believed the whole Santa thing). Eventually, without really remembering how, we'd fall asleep for a few fitful hours and then wake our parents up before the sun was in the sky. Christmas was one of the best things in life.

One of my fondest memories is of a Christmas when we were at my grandparents house. I really wanted this stuffed cat that year - Oliver, from Disney's Oliver and Company. I remember waking up in the middle of the night and going downstairs and seeing that cat underneath the tree. I was so happy. It's sometimes hard to remember the times when something so small could make me so happy. My Dad was down there, I forget why, but I remember I stayed down there with him looking at the tree until I fell asleep.

As I got older, I still enjoyed Christmas, but it was a little bit different. Family still played a big part but somewhere along the way it became more about giving gifts to other people that would make them happy. It became my goal to pas on the feeling of getting that Oliver cat to others. Even now I work really hard at getting people things that will make them smile. In fact, as Christmas became less and less what I remember it being, I try harder and harder to make the people I care about happy on that day. Now, with this being the first Christmas I've ever spent apart from my family, that's beginning to drive me crazy.

I beginning to hate Christmas because no matter how hard I try it seems to make people sad - including me.

I just don't have the resources to make the Christmas I want - it seems like everything is about making ends meet now. It's not even finding gifts for people, I plan that stuff out in advance for the most part, and honestly sometimes it's better to try and DO something for someone rather than try and buy them stuff. But it's still a little depressing to want to be able to buy someone a present you know would really make their day but not be able to because you just can't afford to spend the $20. It's even more depressing to not be able to get a Christmas tree. It's just one of those things that made it feel like Christmas - decorating the tree with your friends and family. Even just waking up Christmas Eve night to drink hot chocolate and stare at the lights on the tree in your living room.

And worst of all is when you're far away from home your family's not there and a majority of your friends are either going home or have their families in the area. So then it seems like all you have left is a house with no festivity, family that you can't see, and stress about how to even afford presents for anyone, much less afford to mail them out.

Don't get me wrong, it's not really as bleak as I make it sound. I have my boyfriend here, he just doesn't have quite the same attachment I have to this holiday. It's just that it's getting harder and harder to keep trying to make Christmas happen.

I guess I'm just wishing for a better world, where Christmas creates joy, not stress, and brings people together. Sometimes life seemed easier when something as simple as a stuffed cat could make me so happy.

I'll just have to find a way to let go of all the old Christmases and learn to build my own Christmas :)

6 Comments:

Blogger Jim said...

Not having you here for Christmas does make it a bittersweet holiday.

When the Christmas haven't been all that I want them to be, I still remember the ones that were. One year my brother stole my want list of comics and gave me a bunch a books to fill in my collection, years of opening gifts under the tree and my Mom and Dad's house. Then the years of making Jamie and you have fun Christmas are the best. I always like when you were so young that you would enjoy the box as much as the toy. As you got older I enjoyed that you would go out of your way to find something that suited me that I never asked for - very cool.

But based on your post you have the true spirit of Christmas and that is more important then any material item.

I wish I had known how things were going to play out because Karen and I could have come down there for Christmas. If you are stuck in Florida next year Karen and I will come down there.

Thursday, November 30, 2006  
Blogger Brainiac6 said...

That would be great

Friday, December 01, 2006  
Blogger Carl V. said...

I would encourage you to not let go of your Christmas's past but use those good, warm memories as a part of making your own new Christmas traditions, even if it has to be somewhat meagre for awhile. You definitely seem to have the spirit of the season and while it is depressing to not have extra money for decorating or buying gifts I do believe you can do what you said, doing things for others, and still enjoy the season. I see all the trappings of Christmas as things that accentuate the holiday but don't MAKE the holiday. I'm sorry you are away from your family this time of year and I hope you and your BF can get in the spirit together and truly enjoy the holiday.

Friday, December 01, 2006  
Blogger Arielle said...

My Dad made Christmas when we were younger. He had so much fun with it that his attitude was contagious. We were dirt poor a lot of the time, but he still went out of his way to make sure to do something special for us. One year, we couldn't afford a Christmas tree, but my dad found a HUGE tumbleweed in our yard. He worked for a nursery that sold flocked Christmas trees, so he took it to his employer, who flocked it for us. That was one of the best Christmas trees ever! We still have pictures somewhere.

When my parents divorced, the heart went out of Christmas. We stopped enjoying it. For a while, most of my immediate family decided to quit celebrating Christmas. Now that I've got kids, I want to start celebrating again.

Friday, December 01, 2006  
Blogger Brainiac6 said...

Carl ~ I'm sure things will work out, it's just hard to learn to enjoy Christmas when it used to be so different. It'll turn out fine eventually though.

Arielle - yeah, I think if I even have kids I'll make sure to go back to some of the more traditional Christmas stuff - like a real tree instead of a fake one. Christmas is the best when you have kids around to spoil.

Saturday, December 02, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm finally free of the chains that bind me. I'll be up in the Tampa area this week, house-sitting for my folks.

We oughta hang.

- Pat

Tuesday, December 05, 2006  

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