Good grief Mizz D, it’s Christmas!

Important Disclaimer – read this first: If you are one of those people who hate to hear of anything but full-on Christmas Joy at this time of year, read no further. If you are one of those people, and you continue to read, please don’t leave comments with any sort of a “C’mon, snap out of it! Count your blessings and stop whining” sort of a theme to it. It may not be pretty if you do. At the least, I will probably refuse to publish the comment. These are my feelings and I will give voice to them here, on my blog. You have been warned.

I struggle with Christmas. Every year now for many years, I white-knuckle my way through the holidays with only one goal in mind – to make it through, alive and mentally healthy, to Boxing Day. You probably wouldn’t know it, because I stay as cheery as possible on the outside, so as not to interfere with any other person’s joy in the season.

You see, I do completely understand how wonderful Christmas can be, because:

I used to be the biggest Christmas freak ever. There was nothing I wouldn’t do to create and spread Christmas Joy amongst as many people as I could touch during the season. I used to make or buy gifts all year long in anticipation. I couldn’t wait until it was decently close enough to Christmas to send out my cards. I baked, I played Christmas tunes, I decorated, I celebrated with abandon!

Somehow I lost all that and I can’t get IT back.

I have tried multiple strategies. For a few years I thought it was the commercialism of the holiday that killed it for me, so I stopped giving material gifts and donated to causes instead. I focused on the giving and spiritual aspects of the season. That offered some relief, but that wasn’t IT.

This year I tried to decide to add to the above, and focus on what Christmas activities gave me joy, in an effort to stave off what seems to be an inevitable depressing and anxious mood at this time of year. So I sent out cards, and put together small gifts that I hope bring a smile to my loved ones. I listened to Christmas music. I even decorated my office. And I watched, enviously, as others got into the Christmas Joy – the Christmas Spirit – that continues to elude me.

As I have been mulling over for the 1000th time what the hell is wrong with me at this time of year, it suddenly came to me (I think). I use this time of year to grieve.

I am grieving:

  • People that I have lost. People that I especially associated with Christmas. Such as my dad (biggest Christmas freak ever). And Auntie Hazel, who JD and I used to spend quiet and special Christmas Eves with, in years past.
  • Christmases past, that will never be again. Like when my beautiful children were small and innocent and full of Christmas Joy. Before they were hurt and beaten down by life, by things their dad and I did to them as a direct result of getting a divorce.
  • Relationships that aren’t what they should be. That I don’t have the tools to fix. Even if those people wanted them fixed, which I have my doubts about.
  • All the sorrows of this world. Within my circle of friends and family, and also outside of it. My heart breaks for those who lost family and friends at Sandy Hook Elementary School, for the family of the mom of the troubled shooter, and even for the shooter himself, who didn’t get the help he desperately needed for his mental well-being.
  • That I may never experience Christmas Joy and peace again. A valid concern as this goes on year after year, despite my efforts to change it.

So, here is my Christmas truth. It is not “the most wonderful time of the year” for me. It used to be, and now it’s not. It is a time when I am anxious, depressed, and emotionally fragile. I wish it wasn’t this way. Oh, how I wish it wasn’t! But it is.

I keep trying to get the ol’ Christmas magic back in my life. This year, I thought I was doing better, but it has hit me like a ton of bricks anyways.

Well, despite all this, hope still does spring eternal in a small, quiet part of my soul. The part that keeps saying “Better luck next year!”

And I am grateful to still be here, on the planet, in good health, with lots of food and a warm abode to call home, and to be able to feel, even if it is painful to do so.

It still beats the alternative, by a long shot!

Merry Christmas to anyone still reading! (I mean it!!!)

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  • Dear, dear cousin. I’m one of those people who read until the end and can say I feel the same like you do. I read it with tears in my eyes.

    I always was full of joy when Christmas was coming. Decorating the tree, listen to songs, watch Christmas movies and feel all warm and fuzzy inside. Like I said I WAS full of joy.
    Nowadays, when Christmas is coming, I feel like I’m the only one who is NOT decorating a tree (we do not even have any decorations or the tiniest tree). We’ve stopped celebrating a long-long time ago. We feel there is NOTHING to celebrate anymore. To much water under the bridge to be feeling warm and fuzzy. To much has happened over the years to feel the joy coming Christmas time.

    It started when I began to work in the supermarket I still work at. To see the things people buy for Christmas. The overly stuffed shopping carts with food, food, food. Like WW3 is around the corner and they need to stuff their bellies so they will make it through. The hateful look on peoples faces when things were sold out, when you could not cater them to every need.
    Is this what Christmas is all about? Eating until your stomach drops dead on the floor? Just thinking about showing off how many things one can buy for Christmas?

    It’s not in the presents, it’s not in the food. It comes down to family and then it hits you…. There is not a whole bunch of family left.
    And when things happen around the world, it makes me wonder how many families will be really celebrating Christmas this year? Full of joy and that warm fuzzy feeling? Not to many I suppose.

    To cut this long story short……

    Dear, dear cousin, you are not alone. I can totally relate to the feelings you have, and I share them in the exact same way.

    Still I wish you a Merry Christmas (from the bottom of my heart) and hope you make it through the days with not to many tears and somber feelings. Look next to you and look in the eyes of your beautiful husband and children. Take your mom in your arms. Hug them, kiss them and say… This is MY family, I love you no words can express. And celebrate or remember the family members who are not there with you. They are there in spirit. Think about that and make it through the days, hon… So I can make it to.

  • Goodmorning My dearestt Mizzy D!
    you do have my full support about your feelings about Christmass!! Last week the radio was on in the workshop and the whole week Christmass songs were “puked” in and over my ears!! No, I’m definetly NOT depressed…American Chrissy songs the whole week…. especially They make me sick! Andy Williams hammers me in the ears ,that “it’s the most wonderfull time of the year” (how many Americans do live in trailerparks or in cardboxes under bridges?) Bing Crosby dares to sing about Christmass, while everybody knew that he was drunken and did molest his own children.. Chris Rea must have been on the road for many years, ’cause he tries to reach “his”holy ground” and the list continues with hypocratic american songs… I do have this feelings since I was just 16 years old. when one look around, you’ll see that Christmass is a time of greed, of eating things we usually abandon, and eating and drinking so much, that there’s a long row on the way to the bathroom to “give up, what they just swallowed” The presents we suppose to buy must be more impressive every year , the dresses sexier than ever and the high heels every year higher ,as it looks like a race to reach the ceiling as a number one.
    Christmass at home with my parents was nothing special. My parents were fighting the whole year round, so , why not with Christmass?
    To me christmass is a short period of regain my strenght after a whole year of working 60 hours a week and reading, relaxing and I’m happy that we live in the countryside far away from the emotionless fashion-and eatingshows of the city..
    As long as there are so many people dying from hunger, homeless, I refuse to join the sickmaking commercial celebrations!
    any way Mizzy D, I do wish you and the family a very pleasant time and a warm big hugh to them from me…
    All the love from us Ton

  • Greetings to you dear friend…. no, you are not alone in this feeling. I have been ‘suffering’ from the same sort of angst/sadness/blah for quite a number of years.

    When you’re a child & the focus is on gifts and treats etc it’s easier for many to really anticipate the season. And later as a parent – to see that delight in your childrens eyes buoys you along. For some, that is. I grew up in a house where the holidays were stressful because of alcoholism issues. Later relationships tended to repeat the pattern – with anxiety – if not addiction. Most Holidays I was faking the HoHoHo…. even worse when you’re a ‘pagan’ or not out of the closet athiest.
    For years I felt fake – because I was faking it. That the whole spending yourself into debt thing was wrong – that the focus was skewed – blah blah blah but darn hard to totally put into words WHY the Season was just tense or what it is now – ‘Flat’.

    I like the lights.I like to see people happy.
    I just don’t really feel ‘it’ either.
    And like you – much of it just makes me sad.
    Oh well. Soon it’ll be 2013 and the next one will be a year away. 😉

    • Thank you Kim. I sent you a little something – not really a Christmas gift – more of a thinking-of-you gift that just happened to coincide with Christmas. Saw it, thought of you, and thought you should have it.

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