…like Christmas. Isn’t it, though?
My beloved has gone to work two days in a row wearing a novelty reindeer hat, and I’ve been spending a lot of time writing cards. I’ve also been spending rather a lot of time trying to decipher my own scrawl, and sort through the piles of scrap paper which constitute my ‘address book’; every single year I tell myself ‘never again!’ yet every single year, here I am.
I get myself over the crisis period, and I get the cards written (after a fashion), and then I forget all about the address consolidation project I’ve told myself I’ll tackle. It just, somehow, never gets done.
Possibly, this is because I only really need to use the addresses of my friends and loved ones once a year, which is sad in its own way.
All I’m really feeling, though, instead of Christmas cheer or bonhomie or whatever, is tired. Getting out of bed is so hard these dark mornings, and the feeling of weights being tied to your limbs as you struggle about your day is something I always associate with this time of year. I love the cold, crisp days, and the frosty mornings, and the sparkling nights where the stars seem newly polished, and the shops and houses festooned with decorations, and the red-cheeked excitement on the face of every child you meet – but man. I really feel like I need a rest. Being left alone with a pile of books and a reading light (oh, and tea- and coffee-making facilities, please) would be the best Christmas gift I could ask for.
I used to adore Christmas as a kid. I’m talking starting to get excited about Santa Claus in August. I do, still, love the idea – who doesn’t love the idea of people taking time out to show one another how much they’re loved, and making a special effort to spend time with friends and family? – but, I don’t know. My Christmas spirit is getting a little more depleted with every passing year, and this upsets me. I don’t want it to fizzle away. I’d like to nurture my inner Virginia. I want to believe in the power of Christmas to rejuvenate and refresh me, and I’d love to find, somewhere deep inside, that same bubbling excitement that used to herald Christmas for me when I was young.
Is it just an inevitability of getting older, that we lose the magic of this time of year? I’m not sure. I know people, of my own vintage, who get as excited as any child about the approach of Yuletide, and who go about singing carols from mid-November, and who have a pair of Christmas socks for every day of the Twelve Days, and who would keep their Christmas trees up all year round, if they could get away with it. So, perhaps there’s more to it than that. Perhaps nurturing the magic of Christmas is something that can be worked on. I hope so, because I’m going to try it.
And here’s how.
We haven’t decorated our house yet, so perhaps that will be this weekend’s task. I’ll monitor my festivity levels after that, and see how they’re affected.
Then, I’ll get some cinnamon-y and/or clove-y candles, and light them, and inhale deeply. After that, I’ll take more festivity readings.
We’ve been lucky enough to receive some Christmas cards already, so I’ll artfully arrange those where I can see them with ease, and every time my eye falls on them I’ll remember how many people I have in my life to love and cherish. (I’ll take another reading after that).
I’ll really work on putting Christmas spirit into all the cards I write and send. It’s easy to write the words ‘thinking of you at Christmas’, but I’m really going to mean it when I write them, and I hope it’ll come through at the other end. This has, I think, already started affecting my festivity levels.
And I’ll take a little time – perhaps in a church, perhaps not – to think about the people I love and how blessed I am to have them, and I’ll be thankful for their presence in my life. Something tells me this will be the most important step I can take in my efforts to rekindle my Christmas spirit. Because, after all, family and love and togetherness is what it’s all about.
I hope you’re not suffering the same Christmas ennui as I am, but if you are, take heart. It’s never too late to get it back. And if you’re a person with a surplus of JingleBell-itis, could you send some my way? Just a little bit, if you can spare it.
Happy preparing-for-Christmas to all of you who celebrate, and my very best wishes to everyone. No matter what your creed or traditions, it’s never a bad idea to be thankful, and to look for the magic in the everyday. Let’s all try to remember that.