I think -- I hope -- Stressember is over. This year was probably the hardest lead-up to Christmas I've had in a decade. I can't talk about the issues I have faced and (mostly) faced down. Oh, the things I'd say if I could. I am Oh-eff-eff OFF for three whole days now, although I do have to go in briefly on Friday.
It still doesn't really feel like Christmas. (I'm sorry, I can't write that without thinking of my dad's local (by which I mean 45 minutes south) radio station, which used to be called CKLP-FM. Every Christmas, amidst all the cheesy carols, you'd suddenly hear a glorious upswelling choral announcement: "IT FEEEEEEELS LIKE CHRISTMAS!"...and immediately a DJ would echo the sentiment in the kind of husky voice designed to peel clothes off women. I couldn't hear that without laughing like a loon...it became one of eleventy dozen catchphrases that have kept our marriage fed and watered over the years.
But it really doesn't. Feel like Christmas, I mean. Maybe it's that I'm no longer sure what Christmas is supposed to feel like. I mostly tune out the carols--I can't help wanting to poke my ears with a screwdriver whenever "Last Christmas" comes on, which is ALL THE FREAKING TIME, seriously, woman, how DO you have your heart back to give to somebody special when somebody else gave it away last Boxing Day? And I've given up on the whole 'war against Christmas' thing at this point: seriously, if you're offended by people who do or do not celebrate this holiday, take an icicle pill. (Holiday--comes directly from Old English meaning 'holy day', so if you hate holy things that much, enjoy working every day of the year, okay?)
Part of it is definitely that the routine has been altered. I won't see two thirds of my family until some time in the New Year--between Eva's surgery, downtime, and subsequent appointments, it was just pointless to even try to match schedules with anyone. (Family reading this blog: please know I'm missing you and can't wait to see you.)
Christmas, and especially New Year's, around here has always been a time to release the inner glutton. That won't be the case this year, again because of Eva's surgery. I still feel bad eating anything at all around her, much less yummy tasty delicioso bad for you crap. This is a good thing, really...it will keep my pants from exploding and my stomach from doing the turkey-lurkey all over the place. Unrequited love isn't just for people, you know....there are various foodstuffs, like m(mmmm)ozzarella sticks, which I love with devotion, but which persist in hating my ass. I know this because they HURT my ass mere hours after consummation. Oops, I mean consumption. Christmas Eve dinner was a toss-up between burgers and Kraft Dinner. Burgers won.
It IS Christmas, no matter what it feels like, and I hope your Christmas makes you feel like a child again. Those are the best kinds of Christmases, after all. May you keep the Santa myth alive for another year. And if you don't believe in Santa, consider the mythologist Joseph Campbell's definition of "myth": "something which never was, but always is."
Merry Christmas, one and all.