Christmas carols, the smell of pine and the sight of snowflakes falling gently to the ground all remind me of when Christmas was a time of wonder. As I look back, I’m saddened to see that it has lost its magic. I miss the feeling of anticipation that kept me awake on Christmas eve. I could hardly contain myself when I awoke on Christmas morning and ran down the stairs to the living room. The surprises in the stockings and the presents under the tree had me spellbound and opening presents was a joyous occasion, especially when I had been waiting for them since Fall. The gifts would invariably provide entertainment for the rest of the vacation.
Nowadays, I take a week off from work, so by the time I get home, Christmas is a few days away. I have a hard time getting into the spirit of the holidays, having to complete all my shopping in a day or two. As I’ve gotten older, I can now buy things that I need or want throughout the year, so Christmas is no longer a means of acquiring things I can’t afford. Gifts are usually practical items that don’t provide a great deal of entertainment. They’re certainly not the type of gift you ask for months in advance, counting the days until you receive it.
Except for a few fleeting moments of nostalgia, I just don’t feel it anymore. At the risk of being labelled a miserly old scrooge, I consider a Christmas tree an inconvenient fire hazard that isn’t worth the trouble. My childhood self would probably have given me a kick in the shins for saying that.
I remember feeling the excitement slowly diminishing in my teenage years, like an ice cube in my hand on a hot day. Now that it has all but melted, I know that I couldn’t have held onto it even if I had tried. All I can think of to rekindle the feelings I miss is to have children. If I can help them to experience the excitement of Christmas, the excitement may spill over, allowing me to enjoy its magic once more.
In spite of these ramblings about losing the joy of Christmas, I’d like to wish everyone Happy Holidays and Seasons Greetings. May you be with friends and family this holiday season.
I’ve had a very difficult time this year getting excited for Christmas. I ran around on Christmas Eve with my brother as he tried to do all his shopping. That just made me tired and frustrated thanks to the incredible idiocracy of so many drivers. That night, being exhausted, I went to bed around midnight, only to be woken up at 2:30 by my dad who told me I had to move my car from in front of the house or I’d get a ticket when the snowplow came along (it had started snowing late Tuesday night). I didn’t get back to sleep until about 3 hours later. Christmas morning, I had no excitement to get out of bed.
Interestingly, despite that experience, I had a great Christmas. I wasn’t expecting much, but ended up getting everything realistic on my list.
I think that what we are feeling is very common. I too have lost that joy of Christmas. Mine probably stems from too many holidays spent out at sea or just being in the military. It never fails, whenever Thanksgiving or Christmas comes around, I think of where I was and what I was doing in 1989-1991.
I’m sure that once we all start having families, the joy of Christmas will be renewed through our children’s experiences. So take heart in that, I guess. :-)
I am 47 now and STILL love the excitement of christmas, my husband and I do not have children but I can relive some of my childhood in the joy and the spirit of the season, when opening all the carefully wrapped ornaments from each year gone by it is like christmas all over again, I remember each and everyone AS I OPEN them and where they came from..Christmas is STILL my favorite time of the year, and even though I live in florida, I still make it a merry christmas in my house
I am more and more drawn to return to the simplicity of Christmas. The clutter and clamor that presently seem to surround it are a far cry from those quiet Judean hills where shepherds heard the angels sing of peace on earth. We have also drifted far from the humble babe in a manger bed Who was (and still is) the source of that peace. This year my wife and I plan to spend a quiet day at home reflecting, counting our blessings, and visiting shut-ins and others who may have no one else to say, “Merry Christmas!”
Rennie: That’s a great idea, thanks for sharing. It may sound trite, but if more people were to return to the roots of Christmas as you’re doing, I have a feeling many of the problems in our society would magically vanish.