Merry…Whatever You Celebrate!

Merry Christmas! Happy whatever you celebrate! I wish you all the sweet things like sugar and spice. I hope you have a decorated tree and lots of mistletoe. Oh, and sparkling lights hung with care. Peace and goodwill to all and to all a good season. 

I’ve been trying to write a post that fits this holiday. I want to write something joyful and uplifting but, to be honest, I’m struggling. It’s not a new struggle but it’s one that gets harder to handle every year because I don’t like Christmas. 

There I said it out loud! I’m a Christmas hater. Grinch. Scrooge. Oh, the horror! Okay, I’m exaggerating. I don’t hate it. I don’t like it but hate is a strong word and a step too far. Before you say it, I know I’m supposed to be happy this time of year. I’m supposed to feel the Christmas spirit, but all I feel is extremely anxious, depressed, and hollow. 

I feel guilty because admitting that I’m not a fan of Christmas makes me feel like a failure. I’m sad that I can’t feel what others feel. I’m a little ashamed that I can’t enjoy this like I’m supposed too. Am I going to post this? Right now, as I’m writing, I don’t know. Did I go through with it?

Not liking Christmas, being depressed around the holidays, feels like it should be hidden away. Isn’t that the right thing to do? I don’t want to bring you down just because I can’t get into the mood. You deserve better than that or maybe we all deserve a little more honesty.

I keep trying to figure out why Christmas puts me in such a funk. Maybe it’s this signpost moment that’s forcing me to look at my life a little too close? The many failures, mistakes, and ghosts of this past year. All the things I’d hoped for and all the things that didn’t happen. The sign of time passing and time running out.

That’s morbid enough to make anyone depressed.

Maybe I’m just missing the magic and wonder of the season? Leaving cookies near the Christmas tree. Santa stuffing stockings while his reindeer wait on the roof. Waking up in the morning, seeing the presents, and storming my parent’s room with so much energy I thought I’d explode. Oh, I miss those mornings so much!

The magic faded, the jolly man stopped visiting, and the energy melted away. The wonder of the season vanished and now it feels empty. What I wouldn’t give to go back in time. I’d love to be that little girl who fell asleep under the tree waiting for a glimpse of the red suit. I want to feel the bursting bubble of energy hovering over my heart. I want it so bad, my heart throbs.

I’m looking for the magic, but all I see is another year coming to an end. Another list of failures, mistakes, and ghosts. Now that I say it out loud, I’m wondering if I’m looking for the wrong thing? Instead of looking for something that faded away, I need to see the things that have taken its place. Or does that sound too fanciful?

My cynical eyes just rolled.

Then again, this past year has brought some positive changes. This blog is a good example. I can’t tell you how many years I’ve thought about doing this and didn’t. I didn’t think I had anything to offer. What could I say that would mean anything to anyone? Who do I think I am, writing about life? But, some of you have reached out and your words have filled my heart in all the best ways. The fact that you’re reading this now, giving it a like (subtle hint), sends this jolt of joy through me that’s pure electricity.

A year ago I thought, “Maybe?” Now, I am doing it, and it’s giving me this sense of purpose that I’ve never felt before. I’ve been looking for the reason I’m still alive, something to give my life meaning, and maybe I’ve found it. It’s early days but the possibility is exciting. The possibility alone is pure magic. It’s better than anything that red-suited cookie thief ever gave me.

I know Christmas brings expectations that we can’t live up too. We feel like we have to be jolly St. Nick and anything short of that leaves us feeling like the Grinch. There’s this constant reminder that this is a time to be with family and, maybe, we don’t have one of our own. It’s hard, painful, and lonely, but there’s a chance that there’s some magic in our lives. Something that will carry us through this season and into the new year.

I don’t know what that is for you but when you find it can you let me know? Magic is contagious. It brings out the wonder we’ve lost sight of and helps us see a little clearer. Those lights on the Christmas tree? For many of us, it’s just not bright enough but our stories are. Share your story and share the magic.

Before I go I want to wish you, my friend, the merriest of whatever you celebrate. I wish you all the joy, wonder, and magic in the world. From my heart to yours: Happy holidays.

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