I generally adore Christmas. The music, the gentle scent of gingerbread wafting wherever I go, the bustle of shoppers, the movies. This year, however, I cannot get into the Christmas spirit and I don't know why. In order to force myself to be non-Scroogey, I have tried the following:
But it has all been for naught. As I sit here on this Christmas Eve, a fire blazing and snow drifting from an unforgiving steel sky - the frozen tears of despair, I have a heavy heart and a blasé attitude (I don't even care enough to make sure the accent on blasé is facing the right direction). Is this a function of getting old? I am on the downward slope to 50 and then toward inevitable death. Perhaps I've reached the "is this all there is" phase of life and it's not pretty. Maybe I just irrationally feel sorry for myself. Or, could it be that I find Blake Shelton being named People Magazine Sexiest Man Alive issue anathema (were the Russians involved in that vote as well?).
I did an informal poll of those around me to see if my gloom was just contained to myself or if it were a global emotion. My results showed a mixed bag. Some blamed Trump, the loss of net-neutrality, an overall ennui with life, and the death of loved ones as reasons for their bah-humbugness. Others cited the stress of the season. The giddy ones included those of perpetual good cheer, moms of new babies, and travelers to far-flung, exotic locales.
I will move forward, cook the Christmas Eve feast, spend the holiday with dear family members (though my mom's absence is felt more each year rather than less) and try to understand what's off. Teacher Perks means I have two weeks off to do just that.
I wish you all a superb Christmas holiday (and to those who don't celebrate - I wish you a tremendous National Holiday Off Work)! Be well and merry, and take another gulp of "adult" egg nog for me.
Courtney is a most fabulous writer and teacher of gifted middle school students. She is the author of two novels - see the "Cate Books" page of this site for information! Watch for updates about future books that need to be part of your personal library. In the meanwhile, enjoy her pithy life observations.