Welcome to my digital writing journal, or mydigitalclutter. What started as a family blog almost two years ago has morphed into my writing therapy. This is where I do a lot of free writing, mostly about my life with my family and the things that catch my interest. While nowhere even close to perfect, in each post I like to see how my writing is changing with time and practice. Most posts are left unedited for this reason, so if you don't mind, take the journey with me.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Where are You, Christmas?

Truth be told, I'm not sure how I feel about the Christmas holiday anymore.  The older I get, the less enchanted it becomes, although I do have the opportunity to view it through the eyes of my children.  My house is never the way I envision it, although some may say I have too high a standard...I may never make it to magazine worthy decor.  I wouldn't say that my standards are high, but it never quite measures up to how I remember Christmas.

Growing up, I had a spectacular Christmas experience.  The lights were strung along the house, the tree emblazoned with the silk bulbs from the early 1970's.  Pink and red if I recall correctly.  The garland that adorned our tree was what we may call tacky today, but in my mind it was grand.  Plastic candies of all colors, peppermint swirls, candy canes, all encrusted with the fake sugar that would bush off to the carpet and cause a fine mess.  It was divine.  Peanut Blossom cookies, hot cocoa, snowmen, Christmas music on the record player all meant the holiday was fast approaching.

The anticipation of the holiday was almost more of a treat than Christmas day.  I recall the festive traditions, the family Christmas party, where I always played Mary in the live Nativity because I was the only girl.  Singing Christmas carols and learning to play them on the piano were staples of my childhood. For a time, my family lived away from extended relatives, yet the same traditions continued.  A program on Christmas eve, my brothers and I performing for my parents, where we learned the lyrics of Silver Bells, and my father read the story of Christ's birth from the book of Luke.

Now, it's a constant battle to regain those precious feelings of the holidays.  I can't explain it, but I feel as if a part of my soul is missing.  I don't know who I am without this part of me.  There are many that don't understand this facet of my makeup, but it is as important to me as the beating of my own heart, but one that has gone missing for a very long time.

Tonight we decorated the tree.  It is lit with white lights, red balls, and a snowflake or two.  Although my children and I worked together, I felt very little joy in their excitement, although I was happy for them, for making a memory.  My smile was forced and my throat tight as I reminisced about doing the same thing, but with a happy heart as a child. Is this what it means to get older?  To loose the spirit of Christmas?  If so, is it too late to run back into my childhood?  I want to feel the wild abandon of my son as he places the glass balls on various limbs, or the thrill that shoots through my daughter when she steps back to survey her work.  I miss it.

Time is short, but it really hasn't changed from when I was a child, so that really can't be an excuse, though it is one I fall back on a little too readily.  Am I pulled in too many directions, that I don't take time to really think on the true meaning?

I am forcing myself through the motions.  I pray that at some point in the next 25 days, my heart will find Christmas, for my children, but if truth be told, for me as well.

What do you do to get into the Christmas Spirit? Help is needed!

6 Lovely Scribbles to Me:

2busy said...

Hmmm...I too have felt the hole in my heart where Christmas is missing. I try to immerse myself in the smells (yummy candle scents), sounds (Christmas albums) and taste (yes I do indulge in the Christmas treats). I love to watch Christmas movies either on DVD or the family channel. While not rooted where they should be, these help to regain a bit of my childhood excitement.

Tonee + Brennan said...

Hi Teri! I have some negative feelings about Christmas. I don't recall the great memories like you do though. Mostly I am just anti-santa and anti-presents, so basically I am scrooge. My home teacher gave me a different perspective the other night. He said "Tonee, we just really look at Santa as a symbol of giving, and that's what we teach our kids he's all about." I realize, personally, I need to relax and just enjoy the moment and fun of it all! For getting in the spirit, I prefer not the holly jolly music, but something more along the lines of the MoTab, or Kurt Bestor!

Sher said...

For years, Christmastime has been a source of stress and disappointment for me. I always get a little depressed around the holidays. I think partly, because it's winter and I have diagnosed myself with seasonal affective disorder, but also I put a lot of pressure on myself.

This year, I decided to keep it simple. I only pulled out one box of decorations--the ones that go on the tree--and I let my kids decorate the tree. And it is beautiful...with all of the ornaments clumped together and giant holes without any.
I've also decided to simplify the gifts this year and not go all out spending like crazy.
And this is first year out of many, that I've felt some sort of excitement for the holiday.
Keep it simple.

Terresa said...

Giving, giving and then giving some more.

When our twins were newborns, we did the 12 days of Christmas for another family. Looking back, I can't believe we did that, 3 babies in our car, crying each night as they were strapped in & we drove as a family regardless, leaving gifts & goodies on a friends door. I don't think they ever found out it was us. That was one of the best Christmases ever.

Stacy Dean said...

I think I know how you feel as well. But for me it's just always so un-enchanted because of the "what do you want for christmas?" stress. I hate the commercial aspect of it and wish for the jc penny catalog version of how christmas should look and feel.

But I have definitely felt that "special" christmas spirit when I'm around others making memories. not opening presents or shopping, but just the general warm fuzzy feeling that comes with the season.

hope you can feel it soon :) love the post too.

wonder woman said...

I felt this way about Thanksgiving, and have resolved not to do the same with Christmas. I'm going to create magic for my kids this year.

As kids, if we were good, we would sometimes gets candy "from the elves." My mom had these cute santa pouches that she'd sneak candy in every few days if our rooms were clean, etc.

One year in particular, I asked Santa for a sleigh bell. (Polar Express) I think I didn't decide to ask till Christmas Eve, but looking back, I must've mentioned it before then. In any case, Christmas morning, I was completely surprised to see a tin box on the tree with a sleigh bell inside. The bottom had even been carved with a personal message to me.

MAGICAL. I believed in Santa till I was ELEVEN.

Do you read wheredidiputthat.blogspot.com? (Motherboard/crazyland) she has some great holiday ideas.

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