Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Christmas Eve Eve Epiphany

I'm a really big fan of the holiday season - all of it: the lights, the food, the running-around, the present wrapping, the kitsch, the parties, the music; I love it all. But I've had a really difficult time getting into the holiday spirit this year. No money, no presents, no tree, no holiday cheer.

I've been feeling isolated and lonely, disconnected from my holiday rituals. Because we couldn't afford a tree and I've lost my box of vintage Christmas-themed snowdomes, I didn't put out any decorations. Because we can't afford to buy gifts or send cards, I was feeling sorry for myself. Because we couldn't afford to heat the house, or buy special food for a holiday meal, or go out for a drink, or... Reading about everyone' else's holiday preparations and festivities has just been making me feel more deprived and left 0ut.

But today when I was writing a message to a far-away friend experiencing holiday stress, my advice to her really hit home: "remember that this time of year is supposed to be about you and the people you love." I realized on the spot that I needed to take my own advice to heart.

Despite my recent feelings of disconnect and loneliness, friends reached out to me and Cole in myriad ways these past weeks. Gifts of leftovers, a small tree, holiday sweet treats, party invitations, well-wishes - all have come our way. We are blessed. And we have each other! This is our first Christmas married to one another - I can't ruin that.

So I've decided to...

Watch my Charlie Brown Christmas DVD,
Enjoy the last day of knitting on my sweetie's Xmas socks,
Savor the handmade ginger cookies Tryphena made me special, sans nuts,
Decorate the wee faux tree Jaimie & Nick gave us as if it is the fir of my dreams,
Drink the bottle of wine that Lisa & BJ gave us,
Hug the Santa pillow my mom made me when I was little,
Put out my Nana's ceramic choir of angels,
Play Santa Baby & Meli Kalikimaka,
Cherish my new husband & listen when he says all we need is each other,
And remember what this time of year is all about:

The people that love me and the people that I love.

Whatever your holiday of choice, may you be surrounded by those that love you and those that you love.

Happy Holidays,



  1. Merry Christmas,
    hoping the new year is getting better for you

  2. Sing it, sister!
    I had melancholy in my plans until a very similar epiphany came upon me these past few days.
    Here are my new and improved plans:
    -To enjoy playing "elf" for the little guy. We will do inexpensive things tonight, like repair some of his favorite things that have broken (like the oven door on his kitchen and the leg from his cloth baby doll), and make the ornament he will find in the tree in the morning out of felt (i certainly have some of that laying around!).
    -Know it will be magical for him even though we didn't spend any money.
    -To be okay with the fact that even though I miss my family and friends who are 3000 miles away, I'm going to enjoy spending a quiet holiday with my husband and son, with no reason to get out of our pajamas, drinking cocoa for breakfast and playing our one CD of christmas songs a few hundred times.
    -To feel proud of myself for being able to trade yarn and felt for every holiday gift we sent out to the folks, instead of lamenting that I couldn't buy anything I thought I might have wanted to buy for them. I still supported my fellow local artists!

    We can create our own holiday cheer with love and craftiness!
    Enjoy your day tomorrow, and a prosperous new year. :) :) :)

  3. Velma - sorry to hear that you have been bummed. I hope your new joy lasts - I will try really hard to drop off some goodies for you tonight or tomorrow... I had planned to give them to you last Thursday, but you weren't at PnH.

    It's not the gifts or decorations - but the connections to others and successfully passing the shortest day of the year that buoy me up this time of year. I try to focus on that as I hate the short dark days.

  4. Thank you Tanja, Shannon, and Bea, more than I can say.

    I watched The (original) Grinch last night, and it really brought it home: it was my mom's favorite Christmas event, and so I not only remembered her but once again heard the "it's about the people, not the presents" message.

    Thank you all for your kind words.


  5. Anonymous9:08 AM

    i ♥ you velma
    merry merry christmas!

    i have been in a funk as well
    but mine has been a snarky funk
    (watching the sheep mill about spending $$$ and forgetting what it's all about)

    and then i realized that i hadn't listened to my favorite x-mas song... the one that does it for me, the one that gets me in the mood

    Bing Crosby and David Bowie singing The Little Drummer Boy/Peace on Earth

    I fixed myself too...

    now i am off work 'til friday
    mellowing out
    with my dog
    eating cookies
    watching the frenzy
    from the comfort of my home

    going to clean the house...

    walk the dogs in the pouring rain 'til they pant and beg for mercy,

    gonna get myself some of the good stuff, the priceless stuff

    i want to laugh 'til i pee

    sleep in

    sneak the dogs people food

    kick the cat outside when she meows

    listen to bad christmas music

    and do what I will, at home, with friends and family, and extended-extended family



  6. I think it's harder for those of us who really like the holidays, because we know how good they *can* be. It's funny, I've been singing the Who-Christmas song in my head as I've been trying to avoid stressing out, and remembering that it really is really Christmas "as long as we have hands to clasp."
    I linked to your post in my blog post about holiday musings. If you rather I didn't, I'll take it down, but I think your words are a good reminder for everyone.
    Hope your days are merry!

  7. rebecca, violet = hugs!

    Sounds like this malaise is going around but that we have all given ourselves the shot of love in the arm to cure what ails us.

    Thank you *everyone* for sharing what you are doing to love yourself and return to the 'true' meaning of the holidays.

    Smooches and wassail all 'round!


Tell me what you're thinking, I dare you!

Related Posts with Thumbnails