Musing about Christmas

Well, it’s that time of the year! The time when ABC Family becomes something worth watching, the time when all the stores are full of people struggling to find a gift that their acquaintance who they barely know won’t hate, and time to string up a ton of lights that may or may not light up when you plug them in.

I’ve grown a bit cynical in my old age.

I used to be able to say with confidence that Christmastime was my favorite time of the year. I used to really love seeing all the decorations in the stores, watching the specials (again, because I’ve seen nearly all of them before), decorating the house, getting time off from school, buying things for friends, etc, etc. But this year, I’m not sure. It’s not quite hitting me the way it used to.

Maybe I’m just more aware of the commercial aspect of it than I have been in other years. I think that stuff has always been there, but I usually willed myself to ignore all of it, or just let myself be swept up in it. After all, it’s more fun to be swept up in all the stuff than be painfully aware of faceless corporations trying to squeeze you for every dollar you have.

This year though, I haven’t been able to get drenched in the magic of the year like I have in the past. Shopping for Christmas presents feels like a struggle rather than an enjoyable time. Waiting until the 25th to get presents feels like an inconvenience rather than an eager anticipation. I feel no drive to set up the huge Christmas Tree and spend an afternoon decorating it. I’m not angry with the season. Just not…enraptured by it either. It’s just a time of year.

I think part of the issue is that my family is spread more thin than usual. My grandmother is now in a nursing home, which has been running my mother ragged. My aunt and uncle have angered my parents one too many times, and are no longer welcome at Christmas. My other grandmother was too weak to make it for Thanksgiving, and who knows if she’ll make Christmas. I ordered myself a christmas present that my parents reimbursed me for, and I already have it because I have Amazon Prime. It’s set up, I love it, but now there’s not much to look forward to on the actual day.

We didn’t even bother setting up the big tree. Honestly, December kind of snuck up on my family, and we’re only now getting the decorations out. We’re doing so more half-heartedly too, because there’s just other things we’d all rather be doing. I don’t want to watch the specials because I’ve seen them too many times.

I think Christmas is feeling less like a happy time and more like a pain in the ass.

How does Christmas look for you? Happy time, or major inconvenience? Is this a new feeling for you, or have you always felt that way?


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