I’ve been trying to come up with something poignant and meaningful to write about the holiday time this year but I haven’t been able to come up with anything so here’s what’s been muddling around inside my think meats for the past couple weeks.
I don’t particularly care for the Christmas season; mostly because it just reminds me that I’m missing my sister and my father and that I can never truly understand the people who get excited for Christmas months in advance. (I’m of the opinion that these people have either never had anything tragic happen in their life or that they are under the age where one realizes the world is not handed to you on a silver platter.) Each year I identify with Ebenezer Scrooge a bit more. (Sidebar: this is my favorite Christmas story, hands down. The redemption of the crotchety, horrid, old man is awesome and it has a touch of the scary for good measure. I also secretly hope that if I ever get to that point Charles Dickens himself would show up at my bedside and direct me through my past, present, and possible future. I watch several iterations of it each year and cry every time. Yes, even for the Muppet version.)
Look, this time of year sucks for a ton of people. Maybe you’ve lost someone (or several someones) and that empty chair at the table just makes you want to break down all over again. Maybe it’s because you have no one and no where to go and the constant reminders that seemingly everyone else is getting together with family and friends for Hanukkah or Christmas or Solstice just twists that knife a little deeper. Maybe you have family but opt out of visiting because of reasons. Maybe your family has opted out of your life because they believe their rules are more important than loving another human being. Maybe, maybe it’s just too stressful because you are worrying about pleasing all the people around you and the thought of doing that for one more day has depleted all your spoons for the next decade.
It doesn’t matter whatever reason, big or small, you may have for being down during the holiday season. It could be the fact that you just realized you only have eight forks instead of nine and great aunt Myrtle is now going to have to eat her goose with a spork.
It’s okay if you’re not the reincarnation of the happiest person on earth. It’s okay if you get invited to one more party and you say no because you just don’t feel like it. A lot of the time I think the sentiment is: Let’s just get through December so we have a nice holiday and then all hell can break loose. Your mental health doesn’t magically improve because there are colored lights everywhere and songs about dying parents needing footwear on the radio. (Seriously the writer of that song is a special kind of sadistic. I mean, did they sit down one day and ask themselves, “How can I make more people sad during the time of year when seasonal effective disorder is a great concern?”)
So, stay home from the party put on by the office coworker you almost never talk to. Order a pizza and watch ridiculous Christmas horror movies (the cheesier the better). Make yourself a very large cup of tea, turn on the yule log YouTube video, and point the space heater at your toes so it feels realistic. Breath.