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Monday, December 18, 2006

Christmas Cheer

It is Christmas time again. The temperature is dropping, the radio is playing the standard rotation of the holiday classics, stores are packed with eager shoppers looking for the perfect gift and Christmas parties abound with family and friends. As for me, I’m dead inside. I am not ambivalent to Christmas, by no means. It is the time we celebrate the birth of Jesus, the greatest gift ever given to mankind, salvation in the person of a newborn child. Even so, I am not looking forward to it either. I can remember being a child, when Christmas was the best time of the year. The house was decorated with all my favorite keepsakes, my mother baking cookies, snow on the ground and presents wrapped under the tree. As the day approached my anticipation started to boil over. I’m sure it was even more fun for my parents, considering that I was jumping off the walls the other three hundred sixty-four days of the year. Christmas eve was perhaps the most exciting day of the year, because in just a few hours Santa would come and leave presents. I remember waking up early one Christmas, probably around 4 AM and walking out to see what treasures Santa had left us. Happiness erupted when I saw the giant box of Legos. I spent a few minutes looking over the box carefully, and then went back to my bed, happy. I remember Christmas dinners with family up North, with my family down South; all wonderful experiences. Yet those are just memories. Pale imitations, glimmers of another life. All the things that as a child so enthralled me have passed into tedium, but have not been replaced with their adult equivalent. In the wake of their departure I am left hollow. I have tried faking it and hoping the real feelings would follow; you know, trying to jump start the process with a little positive reinforcement. All to no avail.

I think the problem stems from several roots. Most notably, as a child, Christmas was all about getting presents. All the other things were secondary. Now that I have a job, there is no physical thing that I want that I cannot buy myself. Even if I didn’t have a job, things still do not interest me. The things I want now cannot be bought in stores, cannot be ordered online. That is why I tell people that I don’t want anything for Christmas, because the things that I do want are not typically in their power to give.

You might say I should be thankful for what I have and rejoice in that, and I am and do. I am thankful from the bottom of my heart everyday for all that God has blessed me with, my family, my friends, my job, etc... However, being thankful and what I know as the Christmas feeling, are two separate things. Maybe this is a part of growing up. Maybe those feelings are supposed to leave, or mature into something else. I just hope that those feelings don’t leave me where I am. Apathy. a – prefix: without, no; pathos – feeling. What a terrible thing.


Blogger April said...

Wow, cousin! I had no idea you felt so bummed about Christmas. You should know all though as a child Christmas is about presents as an adult you go through different emotions on Christmas. First the single and free Christmas without wants, needs or real cares other than that of family and friends but should you have children or a spouse or anyone to share the holiday cheer with you will see the feelings will yet change again. You will find yourself wanting to give as much as you can lighting up faces with smiles and happiness because you can make a difference and also to know you can teach to all the real meaning behind Christmas. In truth Christmas becomes what you make of it and it is your choice and yours alone to make of it what you will. I hope the Christmas Spirit does find you as it has found me. I love you cousin and thank the Lord above for someone as special as you to be a part of my life. Merry Christmas Mike, Thinking of You, April

12/20/2006 3:32 PM  

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