- I resent shopping promotions in mid-summer calling themselves, "Christmas in July."
- I don't like feeling obligated to spend money I don't necessarily have.
- I hate when my favorite Sirius radio stations turn to all Christmas music all the time.
- I resent the extra time and work I have to spend every November and December preparing for the holiday and/or participating in the holiday.
- I can't live up to the expectation that I be happy, carefree and full of good feeling for my fellows.
- I don't like saying "the holidays" instead of "Christmas" because it's considered more politically correct.
I know. I sound like the Grinch. Or Ebeneezer Scrooge. There is a big part of me that just wants to go on with business as usual. And it seems as if the business of the whole country slows to a crawl as soon as Thanksgiving rolls around.
- Meetings have to wait.
- Projects get put on hold.
- Deadlines can't be met.
- People aren't available.
Last year I didn't even put up a Christmas tree. There wasn't a wreath, angel or Santa anywhere in my house. Of course that was partly because it was the first holiday after my divorce and my significant other was miles away. But it was also because I simply didn't feel like "playing." I folded my arms over my chest and sat it out. When the rest of the world got over their fit of frivolity, I happily joined them in the normal pursuits of life.
This year is different. If anything, I've gone overboard. My house is quite festive this year and a seven and a half foot tree graces my front window.
- I've done my Christmas shopping.
- I'm attending holiday events.
- I'm cooking.
Of course my guy is here this year which makes a huge difference. It's really no fun unless you have someone to do it with.
I'm in a different mood this year. I've enjoyed the process of transforming my home. I'm excited to find the right gifts for my family. I'm looking forward to the parties.
What's good about Christmas?
- It forces a change of pace. In my case, I have more to do than usual. For many, life slows down.
- It forces a change in outlook. I can't quite manage business as usual, so I might as well "go with the flow."
- It encourages family get-togethers and, hopefully, communication.
- It stimulates the senses with all the decorations, lights, and movement.
- It reminds me that connection is the key to happiness. If I connect with others, I get out of self. And self is the biggest prison I know.
It's all about attitude really. All about how I think. As John Milton wrote, we can "make a heaven out of hell or a hell out of heaven." It's all in how I decide to view things.
It's also about living life on life's terms. Of course I can dread the coming of Christmas, hate having to shop, resent the time stolen from my usual activities, regret every penny that is wrenched from my clenched hands.
BUT CHRISTMAS COMES EVERY YEAR ANYWAY!
So this year I have accepted my fate. I'm ready, even eager.
But I still refuse to listen to Christmas carols instead of my usual music! So come on, Sirius, give me back my songs already!