I seem to have lost my Holiday Spirit. My Holiday Spirit got a taste of my Crazy and got the hell outta here for fear it was contagious. Turns out it is.
Most years as it gets cold, as the snow starts to fall, as the decorations start to appear, my Holiday Spirit gets stronger and stronger. It gets excited about digging out the garland and lights. It starts to make mental shopping lists. It looks forward to wearing a Santa hat and a blinking Rudolph nose.
Not this year.
This year my Holiday Spirit is watching Christmas commercials, watching Americans get into the post-turkey Black Friday frenzy, watching the lights go up around the neighbourhood. Watching. From the outside, looking in.
Last Christmas I decided it was too much to travel to Hometown. The thought of packing up the gifts and rushing around on the tour of relatives' houses threatened a level of frustration equivalent to watching 48 hours of The View.
So I hosted dinner for 20 people instead.
Yeah, I know. But I wanted to try something different. I wanted to have the best of both worlds - our family and our own house. It worked out well, I thought. I loved not having to load up the car and drive through the snow. I loved lighting a fire and opening gifts and bottle of wine under our tree. Our third Christmas in our own home, and yet only the first Christmas in our own home.
But when it it was all over, I was so tired. I decided I needed a few weekends to recover. A few weekends soon turned into all of January. My birthday in February was the only weekend I really left the house. When Spring came and I couldn't get out of bed, it all went to shit from there.
But over the last year I've worked really fucking hard to pull myself out of that miserable hole.
And now? Now the thought of Christmas is exhausting. The energy it takes to shop, and wrap, and decorate, and pack, and drive, and visit, and unwrap, and eat, and smile, and laugh is just a too much for my formally lively Holiday Spirit to bear.
I'm just now getting back on track. I'm just now finding a way to get up every day, and to go easier on myself, and to create a new routine - a new way of thinking. I've been systematically identifying and trying to eliminate the Crazy. Christmas just throws a wrench into that whole plan.
So the new plan is to not make plans. I'm going to take one week at a time and see if my Holiday Spirit finds me. 'Cause there's no way in hell I'll venture out into the cold hunting for it. If it wants to emerge from the shadows and face reality, FINE.
If not, I'll just skip Christmas altogether and look forward to my beach resort vacation in January.
Because, as it turns out, my Vacation Spirit is entirely unaffected by my Crazy. In fact, I think it was spawned from it.