Have you ever noticed how difficult it is to re-ignite your joy to the world holiday spirit?
For me, trying to light the spirit of Christmas feels like struggling to ignite a campfire with soggy wet kindling that won’t stay lit. Listening to seasonal songs and nibbling on holiday goodies offers momentary sparks.
That glow gets dowsed by all the tasks that need doing. This year’s realities feature my mother’s ongoing health care needs, and my working (also) as a professional caregiver. So many hours of making sure others’ needs are met.
And my children are adults. Christmases past spent together as a family, with pets poking at discarded wrappings, and the melting sweetness of cinnamon rolls aren’t part of our lives.
So how do I re-adapt my expectations to Christmas present? Re-discover the sweetness of silent nights when my children slept and I did last minute stocking stuffing?
Last week, snowflakes coated the ground, giving me a hurrah!, it’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas feeling. Which lasted until southerly breezes swept into town and melted away all the snow angels and snow people.
Because of living in a house crowded with my mother’s possessions, there’s no Christmas tree to rock around this year. But I assembled and mailed out packages to relatives who live far away. My older son let me know the package had arrived in record (two days) time. I was delighted to hear he’d taken it upon himself (while his wife is away visiting relatives) to purchase and set-up their family tree. He also launched a new family tradition for tree decorations and made sure their cats don’t use the tree for climbing practice.
Today my plan is to bake some goodies to give as presents to relatives who live nearby and wrap the last of my gifts in holiday style per Christmas regulations.
However, if anything is guaranteed to send me into a I’ll have a blue funk for Christmas spirit, its swathing gifts. The paper doesn’t do what I want it to do – well, specifically my fingers don’t create those lovely sharp creases or those lovely curly strands of ribbon without great effort and often not even then.
My older son, on the other hand, sent me a photo of a present he’d wrapped, complete with ribbon, and I marveled. He’s better at wrapping than I am – and kudos to him!
But its time, time right now, to step away from my inner Grinchy feelings. Find a way to ignite my love of the holidays.
Christmas — will come. Must come. Whether there is a roast beast to serve or stockings stuffed with goodies. Or missing some faces around the table. The day nears – a time to draw close to ones we love whether in person or via phone or social networking.
Wishing you joy.
© 2016 by Mary Louise Van Dyke. All Rights Reserved.