’tis the season — or so they say. It is that time of year again: welcome to the holidays, people.
I may regret saying this, but I am not a huge fan of the whole Christmas thing. Like, decorating a tree in the living room, buying presents, eating more food than should be humanly possible… I just, I just don’t get it. I mean, yeah, when Santa was a thing Christmas was the best: it was MAGICAL. A severely overweight man raining joy and presents on children everywhere? Hell yeah, sign me up. The concept of reindeer alone got me excited: flying animals are like crack cocaine for childrens’ imagination. But when I found out that good ol’ St. Nic & his motley crew of caribou were nothing more than my parents… Well, the holidays became a lot less fantastic & a lot more expensive. I know, I know… It’s not about presents; it’s about spending time with family.
Anyone close to me knows that Christmas is a tough time of year for me. I am aware that I could have it a lot worse — at least I have people with similar DNA to spend it with — but I know that it could be a lot better too. I don’t have a lot of family here: not in Edmonton, or even Canada, really. & now that my BFF has high-tailed it across the country… Christmas has grown a bit bleaker. There is a huge emphasis on family & friends at Christmas, & it is hard to be in one place when the people you love are in another. I love my family here… but I wish I had the means to travel to Toronto, &/or Scotland. If only I could tear it up over the holidays with my friends & family both near AND far: that is my idea of the perfect(ish) Christmas.
I have had some really rockstar Christmases, don’t get me wrong: there was the year my older brother bought me my first pair of UGG boots, and the year I returned the favour & bought him an Oilers jersey, or the year I received High School Musical 2. I know it sounds materialistic, but those years weren’t about the gifts… It was the passion behind them. It was the fact that my family knew me well enough to get me what I really wanted, and, in the case of the UGGs, what I would never be able to afford to get myself. Lately, however, it seems like the presents piling up beneath the tree are not there because of love, but instead of it. It’s easy to buy something last minute & shove it under a fake evergreen, but it’s a bit more difficult to actually embrace the Christmas spirit & do or buy something with thought & meaning behind it.
I think Christmas just doesn’t mean as much to me as it used to: the magic & joy has somehow seeped out of the holidays. Maybe it’s me: my heart might be a couple sizes too small. The holidays are what you make them, after all, & perhaps my negative Nancy attitude is deflecting Christmas joy. Yes, I am not spending Christmas with everyone I love, & yes, this Christmas is turning out to be a little less cheery than Christmases past. But I can’t continue dwelling on memories in my rearview mirror: the present is where it is at. Setting my expectations too high might be my greatest downfall at the holidays. I want to have the best Christmas ever, & if the holiday doesn’t meet all of my imaginary requirements… Well, then, it sucks.
As omniscient as I seem to think I am, I still can’t believe that is the case. & although I am having a particularly tough time going through the motions this year… I am still going to go through the motions. I have zero illusions that this is going to be the best Christmas ever, but I am going to try not to let my expectations ruin the holidays for me. Yeah Christmas might be difficult, awkward, & a little less than perfect… But why fight it? Why label it? Why try to categorize & compare my Christmas with that of others?
Christmas is like yoga: everybody does it a bit differently. There’s nothing wrong with that. My Christmas this year is not going to be a big, extravagant event that I wish for. My house won’t be overflowing with family; I won’t be exchanging gifts with tonnes of friends, & I am obviously not going to be living some stereotypical, Hollywood holiday romance complete with an over-the-top proposal & a large diamond ring. In fact, it’s going to be really rather small, and intimate. But, as the old adage goes, sometimes the best things come in small packages.
Plus, let’s do the math here: less people equals more leftovers. I’m not sure there is anything better than second-day turkey on a fresh, squishy roll.
Now, there’s a part of the holiday season I can easily get behind.
Happy Holidays readers, & regardless of what Christmas means to you… I sincerely hope you all have a good one.