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Monday, November 24, 2008

Holiday Spirit

Dracula lived in the shower in the bathroom at the top of my stairs when I was a very little girl.  Of course he only lived there when it was dark.  His presence made it quite difficult for me to venture to the top floor by myself at night.  It also made it hard for me to get to sleep.  My bedroom was directly next to the bathroom where Dracula resided, and because of him, I would have nightmares about witches.   I would frequently, therefore, drift off to dreamland in the safety of the downstairs living room, where my parents were watching TV.  They would carry me, unknowing, up to my room and tuck me in.  


Occasionally I fell asleep before having changed into a nightgown.  I would then wake up the next morning devastated.  It was like the whole night had been a waste.  I had missed out on the optimal sleep experience.  I was cheated out of blissful rest.  I needed my jammies on.  But it was too late.  I would brood about my sad situation all day long.  Things were never right again until I had slept through the next night properly clad.

There have been years when the holidays have not seemed holiday-ish enough for me.  I fear I am facing such a season.  Thanksgiving is three days away, and it does not feel or smell or sound or taste like Thanksgiving to me yet.  Sure, I'm eating Dryer's pumpkin ice cream every night and there is serious frost each morning, but I do not anticipate one of my favorite holidays coming right around the bend.

Not only does it not feel like Thanksgiving, but this being about as late as Thanksgiving gets, it does not feel like we're only a month out from Christmas.  My closet is filled with wrapped presents, I've been playing Bing Crosby and Johnny Mathis and John Denver and the Muppets on my iPod, and I've already strewn some twinkle lights on my mantle.  But no visions of sugar plums are dancing in my head.

In years past, when faced with this situation, I will begin to panic.  For in my mind, just as one should spend the night in her nightgown, one should spend the holidays in the proper spirit, or the whole thing is a waste.  The major difference being that it will take another 11 months for a shot at doing it right, rather than 16 hours.  Panicking rarely gets me in the mood.

So what to do?  I'm just not sure.  I am guessing that Wednesday will help slightly.  On Wednesday I'll make cranberry orange relish, and orange rolls, a French silk pie and a pumpkin cheesecake.  On Wednesday I'll pull down the harvest ornamentation and replace it with this year's scant Christmas decor. On Wednesday the kids and I will make a construction paper Christmas countdown chain.

But then what?  How do I avoid missing out on Christmas because I'm feeling like the daughter that Scrooge and the Grinch never had?  I'm sure I could count my blessings and lose myself in service to others.  That's the advice I'd give to someone else in my place.  But my heart's not quite buying it.

When I was little and was made to go to sleep in my bed, I'd try to stave off witchy nightmares with thoughts of birthday parties, specifically my birthday parties.  It seemed to work as well as anything.  I don't see it being quite as effective in this particular instance.  But maybe I should give it a shot.

So if you see me this holiday, please wish me a Happy Birthday instead of a Merry Christmas.  And please refrain from commenting about my pink gingerbread men pj's which I may very well have on for good measure.

17 fishy comments:

Kristina P. said...

Holidays can be tought sometimes. We pulled all our Christmas stuff out of storage yesterday.

And we will probably go out to eat for Thanksgiving, so I don't ever really feel super holidayish.

Erin said...

Thanks for writing about this. I am hosting Thanksgiving this year, and I hadn't even given it a second thought until this morning. I made a grocery list. Now, the list is so long I don't even want to go to the store. I'm sure I will get into the spirit eventually. Like Christmas Eve?

Oh, yeah, happy birthday.

Diane said...

I'm with you. I have felt the same way about Christmas for three years now. I use to love Christmas, and I still do, but I am over the shopping and the materialism of it. We are cutting back a lot this year, not just because we are trying to save money, but because we don't need anything, my boys don't take care of what they already have and I just want a simpler Christmas with more memories and less stuff.

Mommy Madness said...

I still have Halloween deco up which I got out on the 31st. Now that Thanksgiving is approaching I know it will go by without one turkey in sight.The only one that I'll see will be the one that I will be eating at my in laws. Thanks for posting this, I know how you feel. Happy Birthday!☺

April said...

Honestly, I have completely skipped Halloween and Thanksgiving celebrations (although I will be doing the thanksgiving thing - just at someone elses house.) for Christmas. I am really in the mood this year.

I hate you for paragraph number 6.

CaJoh said...

Happy Birthday. You just inspired me to write about our Christmas brunch in which we all don our "Jammies".

Mina said...

April, you won't be hating me so much on Friday when I'm 3-5 pounds heavier!

Tink said...

If only you had known then that the dracula waiting for you at the top of the stairs was in fact Edward! Ha. I think I'm in denial right now cuz all of my husband's kids will be with their mom this year for Thanksgiving, but we did invite some friends to join us, which will help kick me in gear and get excited to cook for them! And did I hear CaJoh right? It's your birthday? Oh my, if that's the case, I'd better get my buns in gear and wish you a very VERY happy HAPPY birthday! Tootles!

Jillene said...

I am sorry!! I am already in a festive mood (o.k. maybe not today thanks to my monthly visitor). I can't wait to overload on turkey and then get up at 4:00 am the next morning and shop my brains out!!

Try reading the Christmas story--you know the real one from the scriptures. Let the Spirit guide you and maybe things will change!!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY (for now)!!

Mina said...

Ack, it was Edward. Holy moly, did I miss out or what? Too bad I was 4. Although, Jacob wouldn't have had a problem with that. Ugh, why don't vampires imprint? Then I'd be the one with icy marble make out sessions.

And, it's not quite my b-day yet, Tink. Remember, I'm an Aquarius. It's just my coping mechanism this year. I'm hoping it will help Christmas turn out better. Or at least give me dreams of Edward.

clan of the cave hair said...

I am so with you. I don't know quite what to do about it. I'm usually chomping at the bit to get out the Christmas decorations and start baking beautiful cookies, but I have no motivation so far. Christmas almost feels like an inconvenience so far...so sad. I AM however, planning something really fun and special, and I hope you all will join me on Dec 23rd...Mina knows why that day's special ;)
But we are going to declare it "hold the Door for somebody day" and I'm planning to get out to the mall and give a special treat to anybody that bothers to stop and do something kind in the bustle of the day. Maybe I'll finally be feeling festive by then. I'm posting about it on the 1st.

rachel said...

Maybe it's because the year has gone by in the blink of an eye. I honestly feel like I am just reacting to all the changes and they happen before I even processed the last one.
Maybe as your eating your pumpkin pie in your pjs on Thanksgiving(start a new tradition) the spirit of the season will hit you...and if not just enjoy that pie!! :D Great post by the way-

Lorie said...

I will have to tell you about how Jaws lived in the light of our swimming pool sometime!

It can be hard, but just try to focus on doing fun things with the kids and enjoy the next month even if you aren't enjoying it for the holiday season. And don't sweat it! Christmas of 2009 will be here before you know it!!

Wendyburd1 said...

I am hoping it will feel like Thanksgiving when I get to my Aunt's house. Saturday we put up the decorations and officially press play on xmas music. I SO want a good year, as good as it can be, so Let's ALL breathe and DECIDE it will BE a Merry Christmas!!

Blog is my Co-Pilot said...

You always write the best introspections. I hope you start to feel Christmas-y real soon...it is afterall only one month from today!

Wendy said...

Darth Vader lived in my hallway when I was a little girl. I still swear by it!

Trying to Stay Calm! said...

Hope you have a very Happy Thanksgiving :) ♥ Hugs!