Thursday, December 2, 2010

You're A Mean One, Mr. Grinch

Tis’ the season.

With the beginning of December and an actual snow fall in Vancouver pre-January, it’s easy to see why a lot of people are swinging into the Christmas spirit. Presents are being bought, Christmas carols are on the radio, decorations are being put up and trees are being lit.

So why do I feel like such a grinch?

Now, you have to understand that Christmas was obviously my favourite holiday as a child. I’m sure I’m not alone with this sentiment. I adored everything about it, up and and including driving my mother insane with listening to Christmas carols year round. I love(d) White Christmas, egg nog, getting out the decorations, the aforementioned Christmas songs, the snow if we got it and without a doubt presents and turkey dinner.

I’m a sucker for stuffing.

However, since hitting my teenage years I’ve inevitably lost that Christmas spirit.

Sure, it didn’t seem so commercial and marketed as a child. And yes, we grew up and we found out that Santa isn’t real and there are no reindeer or elves or a factory making toys in the North Pole. And of course, I’m probably the least family orientated person--at least within my own family. However, I look around to those friends who have still managed to hold onto that wonder, onto that cheer and onto that excitement and I can’t help but feel a little jealousy. And this isn’t just with Christmas, I remember a similar feeling happening when Halloween rolled around.

I get it. I’m not a cheery person. I’m not festive.

However, I use to be. And I don’t think I just ‘grew out of it.’

I mean, last year there was some serious debate on whether or not we’d put up a tree. My mother and I were just not into the whole holiday thing and I think possibly the year before that we didn’t even bother with a tree.

It worries me--To a certain extent that is.

I mean, I don’t need to be pulling a Martha Stewart and aiming for a 12 days of Christmas extravaganza. However, when life is just a series of days turning into weeks, turning into months, it’d be lovely to find a bit of that holiday wonder to get excited about. Something to look forward to when life is a little more unbalanced than normal.

I find myself craving everything that this holiday is suppose to stand for: presents (obvs), good company, good food, wonder, cheer, festivities and that warmth and comfort of feeling like you belong to a family and being able to spend that time with those people who mean so much to you. I want to remember Christmas as a time of giving, of receiving, of family (not necessarily blood relatives) and not just a bunch of keywords that some commercial tries to sell you on. Not just about the material objects, or this fictionalized version of what Christmas means, but the love and happiness that it’s suppose to bring.

I suppose part of the problem is that I’m in that middle stage of my life where I’m not really feeling too much a part of my own blood family and where I’m not quite old enough--or separate enough to spend it making new tradition with those who may not be blood but are family nonetheless. I’ve always been a bit of a black sheep within my own family, however the older I get the more separate and deep seeded this feeling of oddness or not quite fitting in. I’m at the point in my life where my friends are so much closer than the aunt and uncle I see every six months when a birthday or holiday comes rolling along---if that.

The other problem is that our world has become so politically correct in some respects that it’s hard to find that cheer that can relate to everyone and every holiday. I can say without a doubt, some of my favourite things about Christmas are those ‘holiday specials’. Hanging out for the teen line up ‘TGIF’ (yeah, I probably dated myself right there) and being able to have a block of sharing a holiday with your favourite characters. It could get you back in the mood of things.

This isn’t to say that I don’t enjoy some of the pieces of Christmas. I love giving presents and hunting done the perfect gift. I still love egg nog and turkey and stuffing and my traditions with my mother. While we may not have the most..conventional traditions, my mother and I still share our traditions including our coffee, eggs, toast and bacon Christmas breakfast and watching the Supernatural Christmas episode. While this may feel like something to look forward to, some years this doesn’t always seem like quite enough. The perfect present ends up leading to disappointment or the stuffing isn’t like how Gran made it or the turkey is a little dry.

Maybe I just need my own little Cindy Who to remind me what Christmas is all about and to let that heart grow three sizes?

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