Hark the herald tribune sings,
Advertising wondrous things.
God rest ye merry, merchants,
May you make the yuletide pay.
Angels we have heard on high
Tell us to go out and buy!
I think I am coming around to another understanding of myself. I don’t like most holidays. Yes, today, I am thinking about Christmas and it is time for yet another Monday rant. Pulling out my decorations, decorating the tree, shopping for presents – I am just not into it. I would rather jump on a cruise ship or explore some beautiful city in Europe or some other faraway place. Bah humbug. Maybe this is a phase in my life, but I am not motivated to do this. If I go through the motions of setting up the tree, will anyone see it or care about it? Personally, I care very little. I did it all last year and it came out beautifully, but other than my kids, it was for naught. I have told myself that this is my last traditional Christmas and next year it will be Christmas on my own terms.
As in most families, being the wife, I was the person responsible for setting up the tree and all the decorations in our home from the very beginning. We made a nice evening out of it. My mother-in-law would come over for a nice dinner and then we would decorate the tree. Me, the kids and my MIL. My ex put the lights on the tree and then would sit on the sofa and critique our decorating efforts. The last year of our marriage, I put up all the decorations both inside and out by myself. I put up the tree, the outside wreaths, and the other knickknacks around the house. The tree was in a family room that we rarely use, and we didn’t have any parties that year that would have justified all the décor. Afterwards I got to put it away all by myself. It just felt like we were going through the obligatory motions.
This weekend I made an appearance at my boss’ annual Christmas party. He and his amazing wife throw a huge party for about 125 people and collect toys for a charity. His wife, B, has boundless energy and channels Martha Stewart seemingly effortlessly. She makes the rest of us look like slackers. She made all of the food, was up until 2 AM every night the preceding week, did all the décor in their huge waterfront house (as in 3 Christmas trees plus lights inside and out – you get the picture). As she stood there looking her usual glamorous self, I realized that I have no envy of her or her lifestyle. Fortunately I know that after Christmas, she won’t get around to putting it all away until sometime in February, so she is human after all.
So what do I like about Christmas? I like the hymns during Christmas Eve service, which is the only time of year I will step foot into a church. I like the Christmas movies and music. I like the decorations and most of the parties (although the majority of my parties are work-related). Presents? Sometimes I like the exchange, but I have been moving away from wanting things and prefer experiences. The best gifts I have gotten recently were from work – vendors and business colleagues. Isn’t that a shame?
Maybe I am just glum because I have spent the weekend stuck at home feeling miserable from a nasty cold. I am a bit of wuss when I don’t feel well and tend to hibernate in isolation until I feel better. It took all my energy to get dressed and head over to my boss’ party. Then it was too cold, alcohol was a stomach-turning thought and there were NO single men. After 2-1/2 hours, I tapped out and went home. I did make two good work-related connections <<sigh >> not what I had in mind. Yep, Bah Humbug. Just call me Ms. Scrooge.