Right I’m going to admit something that may make the general populous curl their lips at me in scorn, but it is the bare truth. I don’t feel Christmassy. December has arrived and I’ve got nothing. I’m buying gifts (cool previously loved ones that will rock my kinder’s world), I’ve got christmas themed school for the boys, we have activities to attend this festive season and I’m starting to get my act together re gift giving.
But the truth is I am a hollow shell, the vibe just isn’t there. The kids have started to nag me about decorating, Stephen mentioned (very gently) that last year was a bit spartan and that we could probably do a bit more bling this year, my friend’s houses are as festive as a festive thing. I’ve got nothing. No creative juices flowing, no bursting desire to craft home made advent calendars and hand made wreaths made from beautiful paper (my sister actually did this, she’s awesome), I have no Christmas mojo.
Maybe it’s my general level of disgust as things like Black Friday and the ravenous consumerism that surrounds the holiday season. Maybe it’s the fact that November basically kicked our family bottom with one illness or crisis after another. Maybe it’s the rainy weather and cloudy skies that have washed away the snow and left sludge in it’s place.
Reading this post by Erin Goodman today shed a bit of light onto my dilemma. In this season of noise, rush and buy, buy, buy it is easy to get overwhelmed. Even easier for me than most it would seem (I ticked 23 out of 25 on the highly sensitive test) and my reaction to that is to stop, shut down and block it all out. It’s not that I don’t want to be a festive machine it’s just that I really can’t. My brain is looking for a way out and a dark cupboard to lie down in, away from crafts, fun and neon related frolics.
As I look around at the internet and the real world, all decorated and ready for festivities I know there’s only one strategy. Fake it. I may not be feeling festive but the kids are so decorate we will, advent calendars will be purchased and gobbled, gifts will be planned and bought. But I’m a fan of Erin’s suggestion to go easy and to cut myself some slack if I’m not exactly full of zippety do da. It’s ok to be quiet, steady and gentle with it all; which is sort of ironic because I’m guessing those aren’t really words that anyone who knows me would immediately attach me with.
I am ready for a festive season of genuine sharing and closeness. I’m happy to go crazy with the glitter and tinsel the house to within and inch of it’s life, as long as we are doing it because we really want to, not just because the world says it has to be. So I’m going to make peace with the fact that my body clock always seems to be running on go slow around Christmas, that I will never have a house full of hand made gifts and decorations that I crafted myself from woven stalks of white chocolate hay. And, as they like to say these days, that’s ok.
I think I just prefer the bits of Christmas that reflect a genuine celebration of the season. Making gifts for friends, unearthing decorations we’ve had since long before the boys were born, making treats in the kitchen while the fire roars. Those are the bits I love. And I have to admit, as I listen to the excited Christmas chat from the boys and contemplate making up a big batch of peppermint bark to eat in front of the fire while reading all the festive books I snagged at the library, I feel my festive juices beginning to flow, the first tingle of a tinsel laden vibe.
Perhaps, as is so often the case, I just need to admit my feelings in order to make a change. By being honest about my lack of festive feeling I can open the door to this season of celebration, but I also need to be truthful about what brings me the most joy at this time of year. I may be a chatterbox of the highest order, but when it comes to Christmas my heart lies with the traditional and gentle celebrations of years past. It may not be neon, or bling, but it’s what I love.