But then, last month, I began to have the strangest feelings. Feelings entirely foreign to me this time of year. (Nobody panic- I'm not about to go all Judy Blume on you.) Instead of joyful and shivery and just this side of manic, December 1st found me unsettled and discontent and out of sorts.
I wallowed for the space of a morning, then took action. My weapon: An imaginary red pen. My victim: The calendar.
Most of the year, I have little problem saying No Thank You Very Much to requests and snares of my time. I am very protective of our family time and my own mental health and know that for me, that means not overbooking, and our children are still at an age where I wield most of the control of our family's schedule.
But at Christmas time? Everything is fun and festive and worthy so why not do everything? Cookie-Exchange-Christmas-Cards-Tour-Of-Homes-Clothing-Pantry-Advent-Bible-Study-Caroling-Favorite-Things-Party-This-Kid-Needs-A-Donation-To-The-Animal-Shelter-This-One-Needs-A-Girl-Gift-This-One-Needs-My-Spare-Liver-ARE WE FEELING JOYFUL YET?
So I decided a bunch of it needed to go. I could either do all of it in a way that made me an absolute jewel to be around and made everyone around me speed-dial Kevorkian for a good old-fashioned mercy killing, or I could hop off the crazy train, because the only one keeping me on there is me. So I said NO THANK YOU VERY MUCH to myself a bunch of other people, and it felt incredible.
Then I found the Christmas lights I lost and couldn't find for THREE DAYS (because I'd put them where I always put them, SO CONFUSING), which is probably what really started the whole holiday identity crisis in the first place- a sad, unlit Christmas tree- and everything got a lot better, because Christmas lights are LIFE-GIVING. I'm pretty sure Kierkegaard said that.
|OH THANK GOD|