This Modern Love column Carolyn S. Briggs really held my attention and brought back some old feelings about family, holidays and expectations.
Consider the opening:
MY three vegetarian, activist, urban, multi-degreed, agnostic, adult children have rejected Christmas as a consumerist sham of a holiday, one in which they will not be participating. Oh, they’ll take the day off and drink organic wine, but they won’t be buying presents, putting up a tree, baking cookies, lighting candles or decking any halls. There will be no taking of a family picture for their card and no sending of that card or any other.
My parents didn’t have a Christmas tree this year. When I visited for Thanksgiving, my mother gingerly broached the subject.
I don’t get a tree or decorate my apartment. Christmas music drives me bonkers, and not in a good way.
Many times, I have referred to myself as The Grinch, but I don’t hate Christmas; I just can’t find a way to enjoy it.
I used to *love* Christmas. As a child my life was divided into the half of the year when I eagerly anticipated my family’s annual trip to Nags Head, and the half when I couldn’t wait for Christmas.
Christmas was easier then, of course. I mean, come on: PRESENTS! Relatives bearing hugs and gifts seemed to arrive every day for a week, expecting nothing from me but a happy “thank you!” And church was pretty (if still dull to me). Candles! Flowers! Cookies!
Where did it go? How did I lose my Christmas spirit? Can I get it back?