I love the holidays, I always have. Obviously, I am all about the decorations, the food, the cookies, being with family, and I love giving gifts. I remember hearing about the negative affects the holidays tend to bring on some people’s moods and general psyche. When I was a kid, this would always confuse me. There are decorations everywhere, and parties, and friends, family, and presents and things! There’s a 24 hour marathon of A Christmas Story on Christmas eve! How could anyone possibly be depressed?
And then this year happens, and I am finding myself possibly being in that very emotional rut that used to puzzle me, and I have no idea why.
In previous years, I did everything I could to savor the holidays for as long as possible. I used to feel depressed when the holidays were over, so I did everything I could to try and spread the joy out as much as I could. Now, my house is decorated, and I have presents to wrap, and the weather is nice and wintery (for Texas), and I just can’t get into it. When I am watching Christmas movies and wrapping presents, I actually feel kind of sad.
I feel totally silly for feeling this way. This year Deven is old enough to really get into Christmas and Santa. He’s been helping with the decorating and he’s even making his own gifts this year. This is going to be Archer’s first Christmas. I’m throwing my first Christmas party in a week. We have the money to buy one another presents, and pay the bills, so circumstances are in our favor. We have so much to be joyous about this year. It could possibly be that there is no identifiable issue here at all. It could just be that there is something so cathartic about the holidays and I am not depressed, I am just emotional at every turn, and so Paula Deen’s Southern Christmas just makes me cry.
Today, Dec 8, is the 8 year anniversary of my mom’s passing. I lost her 17 days before Christmas. I don’t even know how I made it through that holiday without her. My mom lived for Christmas. She was usually a depressed mess the rest of the year, but she was so full of joy when Christmas rolled around, or at least she made it seem that way for us.
I think when I am alone and watching Christmas specials, or doing anything that has to do with the holidays, I get the biggest pangs of sadness when I think about Christmas morning with my mom and brothers. It’s never been the same, and I know it’s eventually supposed to change. You’re supposed to grow up and find your own family and then develop your own traditions. For us, that change was so abrupt. My my older brother and I, those changes didn’t end with how we celebrated with Christmas. When our mom died, we lost our home, and what made us a close family. Since then, I’ve struggled with trying to find our traditions. Every year we’ve spent Christmas at some other relative’s house, and it’s kind of hard to self-actualize in that regard when you are doing it some other way.
Maybe once Christmas Eve rolls around and I am home with my kids, in my house, and I get to put together my own Christmas morning, hopefully it will all come together. I know I can’t ever be a kid again, but at the very least, I should be able to recapture some of the fun and love and joy I felt at home with my mom and my brothers on Christmas morning. It feels like it’s my responsibility to bring that joy to my kids in some form, whether it be own or from someone else. I have to tough out the holiday blues for them, and try my best to find my new holiday joy.