For many years, now, the holiday season tends to bring me down. Christmas is for young children. I’m one no more and I my son is now a man. Christmas is for family and I shunned mine so much that I feel uneasy around them. Christmas is for lovers and… well, shit.
What happened to that little sunshine in the pit of my stomach at the idea of giving and receiving? Where has gone the days when I applied myself, tongue out, to put glitter on a card for my mother? The days when I tore with anticipation the green and gold paper, a red bow taped on top of my head? The days when I indulged with Bing Crosby on the tip of the brain?
Is this woman gone? Have I become that cynical? Am I that so deep in that “Screw the consumer society” that I refuse myself the pleasure splurging? Am I so hurt from all sorts of unclear business that a walk on the streets, decorated, lit, rainy and muddy, makes me want to unload a 50 caliber at the speakers just to stop hearing them spitting their insufferable hoedown?
I want to get away from all this sudden joy, fake, feigned, painted on. All this abundance. All these obligations. All these trips. All these expenses. All this food! I want to slip under a warm blanket and hibernate. I want to watch The Sound of Music, alone and drunk, lying on my couch stained by meat pie. As usual.
But at the same time … This longing I feel for a slice of homely tradition.
Yesterday, I installed some shimmering and festive blues bulbs in my living room. I turned off all the lamps to better savor the flickering. I wrapped some presents, my tongue finding again the corner of my mouth while I was fighting with the scotch tape.
I will put colors on my cheeks and place kisses on those of others. I will ask the cousins how’s life and bum a cigarette to the nephews. I’ll be amaze of how the young ones have grown! I will help my aunt in the kitchen and be in her way. I’ll be too hot and my socks on the carpet will make me give shocks to people.
I will receive a gift or a compliment that will embarrass me. I will give a little something to my son with a couple of hundred dollars rolled in. My mother, a lovely day planner. There are conversations that will never be completed, others never started. There will be hugs and tassels. There will be good wine and some hassles.
In short, this year, I’m grabbing Christmas by the balls and having dinner with my family.
Because, basically, Yuletide is just a date that we gave ourselves to say, in the clumsiest way, how much we love each other.
And I simply can go back to being cynical on January 6th.
Merry Christmas to all!
And to all… you know… that Doctor Seuss crap.