I am not feeling very jolly.
I have days full of Christmas spirit, where I’m singing carols and forcing ‘The Polar Express’ on Sebastian for the 13,900 time because it’s magical, damnit, and you will enjoy it.
But then there are days where the to-do list is longer than the entire season (which starts in October now, apparently),and my house is a mess of discarded socks from every single member of this family and tree needles and mixing bowls from those cookies I forced myself to make while the youngest one whined at my feet because she has a cold and my legs are covered in snot and flour.
And I love this holiday, I really do. I love everything about it – the carols and decorations and movies and smells.
But it gets to the point that I’m trying to make it special for everyone else around me and so much energy is spent thinking about others that I don’t have time to just sit back and enjoy it myself. Like I used to. Like I did when I was younger.
Part of it may be that this was also a big holiday for my grandparents, who died years ago. I miss them more around this time of year because everything makes me remember the full-house get-togethers we used to have, how they squeezed their five children and all of their children and grandchildren into one small room full of chaos. Or how the grandkids took turns putting Baby Jesus in the manger, since you couldn’t put him in until Christmas Day because he wasn’t born yet, obviously. Or the glass tree candy jar that always, always contained red and green m&ms. Or how the smells of lasagna and fried chicken permeated the house. And how much they enjoyed the time spent together at Christmas.
So in the midst of rushing and tasks that need to be done, I get a little melancholy for how things used to be. I miss being a kid and having someone else try to make my holiday magical. And I miss things being simpler.
But I have to, as they say, put on my big girl panties and carry on. I don’t have the luxury of wallowing in melancholia. And I will be fine later, especially when I see the excitement in my kids’ faces, because it will be there and will saturate everything with happiness, including my moodiness.
I think I’ll go watch ‘Polar Express.’ Or maybe bake some more cookies.