Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Christmas Desire

Christmas sights and sounds always thrilled me: the carols, the decorations, the lights, iced cookies, a big family dinner with homemade rolls and pies and turkey giblet gravy. I was raised in the Christian tradition of baby Jesus: Christ is Born! and maybe the church or even the family will try a live nativity scene. But let's be honest. I wanted stuff, too. There wasn't a lot of stuff in our lives. That's me with a doll dressed in jeans and T-Shirt (an attempt to get me to like a baby doll). Obviously, I got a hat and gun. The homemade jeans and shirt might have been handed down.

These days I'm a skeptic about the Savior's birth, but I try to recapture the thrill of decorations and lights, mostly by co-opting the decorations in stores and hotels and people's outdoor light displays. I'm too lazy to do much decorating although this year I've trotted out my bendie Christmas figures, my tiny tree and a few things to scatter around the apartment. I try to recreate the excitement of getting and giving things with FFP by asking for a few things I could easily buy myself. He gets to shop for clothes, have a massage, etc. Business as usual but we say "that's for Christmas."

It all falls a little flat, though. The thrill is not there. We have what we want all the time, really. We give money to good causes, but nothing really captures the (admittedly selfish) thrills of old times. Plus, I'm retired so there isn't even the thrill of time off like when we were in school or worked.

When I was going through my aunt's old slides, I found this one. She is a twenty-something I'm guessing and she looks like she got a bowling ball. I don't think the thrill was gone for her.

Don't get me wrong. I'm perfectly OK with not really wanting or needing anything and realizing how lucky it is to have reached this place. I'm OK, too, with having lost any special meaning surrounding the holidays. But I won't say that there isn't a little depression that creeps in around the edges. The holidays should provide some kind of thrills whether it's religious, family gatherings or festive feeling. All the ads are promising it. But I know it won't come and that's something.


Theresa B (of Nebulopathy) said...

For me it's not the "stuff" (since I have a good job and can buy what I want if I really want something), but the people. I'm trying to get my sisters to pick a time to skype during which we all do the same holiday baking project. I'm not sure it's going to happen, schedules being what they are, but that's my goal. That's much more exciting to me than having presents to open under the tree.

My parents will get a hand-drawn calendar like they always get from me. It's my revenge for never getting art lessons as a kid.

LB said...

When our parents were alive, we'd make an effort for a meal and presents of some sort. Now we are much less conventional.

jenmoon said...

I am tired of having no Christmas traditions, no blinged up house, and no regular people to spend it with. We spent it with relatives that didn't like us until my dad died, and now that he's gone, his relatives don't talk to us and my mom's side, while they'll invite us twice a year for Easter and Thanksgiving, refuse to invite us for Christmas and I think it's just shitty of them. Every year we end up doing something new, sometimes it's been good (Jewish Christmas was a blast, but that friend moved out of the country, and Hawaii is Hawaii), some years it's just sitting at a house doing nothing but fighting. This year we have no invites and it's looking like a yelling at home year again. BLECH.

This kind of thing is why I enjoy pre-Christmas but not the actual days any more.