This time of year always brings back memories of idyllic childhood Christmases, and those memories get all rolled up with the stories in the multitude of holiday children's picture books I've collected over the years. My Mom is a regular June Cleaver and really did an amazing job of building these memories for me to carry forward. She would be in the kitchen baking holiday treats while my Dad fought with the Christmas lights in the living room, and I would bounce between the two "helping". Somehow these ghosts of Christmas past are so seductive in their air of fantasy, that there can be no chance of present-day reality living up to their standard. I know I'm not alone in this, that this is part of being a grown-up. But I can't help but think that, in the usual way of things, grown-ups get to move through this transition into recreating those fantasies for their children, sharing the stories with new little ears, seeing the lights with new eyes. And we all know how that's panning out in this house.
So all of that leads to a host of conflicting emotions. I feel like I should be jolly and hopeful, but I can't help reminding myself of Reality. I want to be generous and giving, but some days have trouble just dragging myself along.
- I hate traveling.
- I hate family drama.
- I hate feeling like I have to go broke to make things "Merry".
- I hate wondering if this will be my last Christmas with my grandma.
- I hate the fear of the inevitable questions about the absence of offspring in our marriage.
- I love evergreen scented candles.
- I love Christmas trees and decorations.
- I love making cookies and other tasty treats to share.
- I love the early season snowfalls, as long as I'm not driving.
- I love sitting down for a big family meal and seeing my loved ones faces around the table.
Sorry if this post was a bit of a bummer for you guys, but it's where I'm at today. I know this is no great revelation. This is just Life. It is what it is and it's down to me to make the most of it.