My Love of the Holidays Is Over
I loved the holidays for so long. I think it’s time to just admit that ship has left the harbor. I don’t have it in me.
When my daughter was little, loving the holidays was easy. How can it not be?I remember how adorable she was on Christmas morning. Little pajamas with feet. Messy hair and still half asleep when she realized what was under the tree. Holiday music playing as cinnamon rolls baked for breakfast. A mimosa on the couch in front of the fireplace with the sound of paper tearing.
I was a single mom until she was 8. Around the time she stopped believing in Santa. I poured everything into Christmas. It was us against the world. I put up two trees. I made countless wreaths. We baked cookies. I wrapped presently far too ornately. She stopped believing in Santa and I stopped believing in Christmas.
I have tried and tried for years to still love Christmas.
I have been faking it for quite some time and it’s just not working. I hate Christmas.
I wanted give it everything I had this Christmas. I told myself a couple months ago that I was going to blow the doors off Christmas and have a really great one. I needed a really great Christmas. My heart wants it so badly. I can’t make it happen.
I’ve not baked a single cookie. My daughter had no interest in decorating the tree with me. I did it by myself. No music has been played. I have only a few presents purchased. The outside decorations I put up I have never even plugged in and lit. No Christmas movies.
The only thing I have to show for Christmas is the most perfectly decorated tree and fireplace you’ve ever see. And it’s not even making me remotely happy.
I figured it would be easy to make this Christmas better than the last few ones. Last year, I was so depressed that my tree stayed up until the end of February. It became a joke. We took one set of decoration off and put another on. Valentine’s Day tree. Mardi Gras tree. I just didn’t have the energy to box up the tree and stick it in the garage. I had nothing left in the tank.
In other years, I felt removed. My family did not particularly like my ex-husband. A fact they managed to mostly conceal for 9 years. In the 12 years I have been in my house, they have come once for Christmas after I practically begged for them to let me host. I wanted my house filled with people.
My house is missing people. It feels empty. It feels a little soulless.
A friend of mine was telling me how much he loved big awkward family holidays. Where things got a little goofy and may be a little bit weird. Loud but always with love. Laughing and pranks and good times. His family is like this. Mine is…not.
I’ve never had that. I have a very small family. But, the reality of it is that I don’t actually have a small family. I have aunts and uncles and cousins that I have not seen in 40 years. No one ever comes for holidays. No one talks to each other.
The disappearance of my love of Christmas is selfish. It’s small. It’s merely a mental obstacle. But that obstacle seems huge and it’s making me more than just a little sad. It’s making me an absolute mess.
It’s me longing for something I have never had and probably never will. Longing leads to misery and I know this. I just can’t stop the longing from happening.
In the grand scheme of things, my reasons for hating Christmas are petty. Others have had a far worse of it. No one’s ever died on my Christmas. No one has gone to the hospital. No one has passed out drunk. No one’s house has burned down. But still…
I just want it beautiful. I want it full of love and joy. I want the laughter. I want the big, weird, awkward Christmas. It’s just hard to want something you don’t believe in anymore.