I don’t know. What is it about Christmas that is such a let down for some people, myself included? I’m no Scrooge by any stretch of the imagination, in fact, I think I’m one of the most upbeat, happy people I know. Until it comes to the holiday season. This time of year makes me feel like I can’t wait till its over. I just long for January.
I remember when I was a kid the holidays were so fantastic. Sure, the presents were the main focus for me, but what really warmed my childish heart was the people who came around just once a year for their Christmas or New Years visit. They would bring with them jolly laughter, happy attitudes and sometimes their kids, whom I enjoyed so much. Being an only child, I would thrive on the company of others. I loved to be in the room with my dad as he visited with his buddies from work, drinking ‘hi balls,’ laughing and enjoying delicious snacks. Most of the time, the guys would bring their wives and the women would visit with my mom. My father was such a people person. What gave him joy was being with people, and I believe I have inherited that social trait from him.
Fast forward almost 30 years. I am 44, my dear father has been gone 25 years now and I have a family of my own. I have 5 kids, 3/5ths of them teenagers with lots to do on their own. My dear mother in law passed away 3 years ago, and my husband’s grandparents are now both gone. I have my mom and her husband, both who happen to be too sick to visit on this Christmas day. My husband’s only uncle and his wife live in Florida and didn’t want to make the trip up to spend Christmas with us. That, I guess,I will never understand. Why would two people rather be alone than make the trip to Chicago to spend time with their only family? I find myself with my immediate family and it feels like a normal day, nothing special. That warm, cozy feeling I used to get from Christmas is gone. I don’t know what happened. Don’t get me wrong, I love my family and I am grateful to have children. I would be quite alone if I didn’t have them. They are sweet kids and I’m not complaining. I am not trying to sound ungrateful either. I am fully aware there are others who are much worse off than myself, and wish they had an immediate family to spend the season with. But, I can’t help how I feel. I just need to get this out. I miss my dad, my mother in law and having my friends around. Did I also mention my husband is fast asleep on the couch, just like he is everyday? It’s so boring.
What I long for is people. I envy families who, in my mind, are lucky enough to have big holiday get togethers with a family dinner, boisterous noise, music and everything else that goes along with an idyllic Christmas celebration. Most people who experience these types of celebrations tend to dislike it. They roll their eyes and say, “oh, it’s Christmas and we have to put up with Aunt Marge and her little digs.” I would welcome the chance to have to put up with a relative or other person I didn’t really care for. Mostly, because it’s something different. I welcome change if given the chance. I think that time for me will come when my children are grown and have families of their own. Hopefully, we will all gather at grandma’s house (me) and my home will be bursting with daughter’s in law, grandchildren and craziness. This calm Christmas I am experiencing now is extremely lackluster and leaves much to be desired. It depresses me, but I don’t let it show. I think my kids even wish the same as me and long for a ‘happier’ Christmas. We all wish we could conjure up a last minute party with every available friend and with every relative we have left.
So, I set my sights on New Years Eve. I am making my phone calls now, trying to get some friends to commit to an evening out at the Franz’s. I’d absolutely love to feel once again , that joy I had as a child during the holidays. I want once more to feel that happy feeling I had when the doorbell would ring and I knew that just on the other side of that door was holiday visitors coming to make merry.
Got plans for New Years? Rumor has it there’s a hopping party at the Franz’s this year.