With just one week until Christmas Eve day it's sort of getting down to the wire for gift shopping and that sort of thing but alas, even though I have been out shopping twice with my mother and once with my cousin, I still don't really have much of anything to show for my efforts. Most of my time on these shopping expeditions has been spent watching my mother and cousin contribute to the economy while I look at things and think ... eh ...
It seems like every year it gets harder and harder to get past that 'eh' as I have grown to dislike the entire commercial aspect of the holidays. This isn't to say that I'm ready to sign up for Scrooges Anonymous or Grinches-R-Us but I have been finding my Christmas spirit being chipped away just a little bit more with each passing year.
If you had told me a few years ago that I would no longer be putting up a full-size tree and decking the halls with festive trappings, I would have said you were crazy. If you had told me that the simple act of writing out Christmas cards would be an arduous ordeal that I would rather avoid, I would surely have shouted 'nay'! If you had even hinted that I would not bake a single Christmas cookie the entire season, I would have laughed in your face. But, alas, had you told me all those things you would have been right.
The first year that I worked at American Ambulance I came in on my day off and decorated the entire dispatch center from top-to-bottom. I strung lights, hung stockings, and placed a tree in the window. It looked very festive, or so I thought. The next year when I did it, people complained that the tree was in their way, that the stockings weren't right, and that it made them feel "claustrophobic". I vowed that I wouldn't decorate at work for Christmas anymore after that and I haven't. What's the point if people are only going to complain?
The decline in decorating at home came sometime after that when I came to the conclusion that it was more trouble than it was worth. "More trouble than it was worth ..." I never ever thought I would say that about Christmas but there it is though I'm not sure where it came from. Maybe it comes from not having anyone special to share Christmas with; maybe it comes from the retailers screaming "buy! buy! buy!"; maybe it comes from the expectations that I can't afford to fulfill; or maybe it just comes from overall disappointment in what used to be "the most wonderful time of the year". I'm afraid that my beloved grandfather, who loved all things Christmas, would be disappointed in me but then again, maybe he would be disappointed in the ways that Christmas has changed, too.
I don't know if it's because I'm feeling run down and tired lately or if it's because my finances can never stand up to the Ghost of Christmas presents or that I'm just old and crotchety or that Christmas just isn't what it used to be but it's just become 'eh' for me. And to be perfectly honest with you guys, that 'eh' makes me very sad but I just don't seem to have the energy for more than that right now.
I don't know, maybe Scrooge and I have more in common than I thought ...