I won't talk about the details of how I came to hate the holidays but when someone right about September of every year would bring up drawing names for Secret Santa and how much money was expected to be spent--the rest of the time up to the day was one big anxiety attack. I recall literally going into a dark place when I would hear
I'm dreaming, of a White Christmas...
..and have literal body convulsions. It wasn't the most wonderful time of the year, it wasn't a season of love, it was everything but--I didn't want to be part of it. I used to fall for the tear-jerker movies like The Family Stone, Love Actually and others because they could make me cry and release some of that hate for the season. I actually enjoyed being called a Scrooge, a Grinch--yeah I owned that and the last thing I ever wanted to hear was a Christmas carol--none of that!!!
Move forward a couple of years after coming out, divorcing and being only in charge of my own and my kid's Christmas--money was sooooooo tight, every extra penny was spent on what to get the kids, every bit of extra credit on my card was carefully spent on something they would love--not the best of times but much, much better times--I had a much narrower purpose and I could handle that.
With time I started feeling better about the holidays--gift exchanges, showing up to events, festivals and lights were much better on my soul--but there was a piece of me that I couldn't shake off: Christmas Carols--I still had the same retching sensation when I'd hear the first one of the season. I wanted to be home for Christmas, I wanted the Snow and Mistletoe and presents on the tree... I didn't want to have a Blue Christmas and oh lord--don't even throw Christmas shoes into that mix--I was trying to re-build my life with a new love, a new life, give it meaning but those songs and themes made me sad--really sad and bring me to tears--sometimes ugly, snot-bubble, open wailing cries...
In spite of having a new-great life I was still having Hard Candy Christmases...
Then one day I thought, what is this home I want to go home to? What is this Blue Christmas I want to propagate? What in the world is there to be sad about? I have a great partner, great children who love me, a place to live, great family, great friends, a good life--what is this melancholy about? I had to have an attitude adjustment and instead of focusing on the sad stuff I started having better thoughts and enjoying the great songs and themes:
All I want for Christmas, is you!!
I can now sing along without getting depressed, I can now feel good to hark the harold Angel's sing, I can laugh along with Rudolph The Rednose Reindeer, Sleighbell, Jingle Bells and others-- I can even make it through
Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas---
...and not lose it--unless I'm watching Meet Me In St. Louis--then I lose it completely--but if it is just on the radio I can do it--I'm proud of where I am now and the progress I've made. This post has got long (as usual).
How do you handle Christmas?