My Christmas groove has gone a bit wonky of late and I'm wondering if that's because we've reached the Hump Days of Christmas. You know how it is, the original excitement of December 1st - legal Christmas carolling, a whole new world of food treats, the excitement (and angst) of present buying and making, the adrenaline rush of getting things posted in the nick of time - all becomes an exhausting morass that is less Peace on Earth and more Jangled Bells. I do believe this happens every year. My hopes and expectations of Christmas inevitably butt up against my actual life and the everyday mundanities that require time, effort and attention. Suddenly it all becomes a bit much and I find myself wondering where the Christmas spirit is hiding. (Not to be confused with the Christmas spirits which are up on top of the pantry and which may well come down for a wee sipping a little later in the evening.)
Somewhere in my life I equated Christmas-time with happiness. I certainly loved it as a kid. However, that childish take on Christmas (where all of life's major decisions were buffered by my parents and all I had to do was enjoy the presents and the food) continues unrealistically into adulthood and brings paradoxical pressures to be happy, enchanted, and excited despite the fact that I now have to organise it, all while keeping our usual life afloat. I pondered all this while folding towels this afternoon and tried to imagine what Christmas would ideally look like to me. Many scenes flashed through my head but I think there was a general theme of quiet joy, nestled in front of an open fire (or in the shade on a lovely beach), reading books, eating
fruit cake, enjoying my charming and well behaved family, with a background accompaniment of boys choirs trilling on festively about
snow and the baby Jesus. There would also be presents, and wine, and probably roast chicken at some point (and definitely no laundry to do), but my reverie was broken by Tiny needing me to tuck Teddy into the pile of clean sheets so that he (Teddy) could go to sleep.
I'm not sure where I'm headed with this little wander through Christmas past and present, other than to say that nothing's perfect, we plod on, there is no open fire place (or delicious beach) but there is a trilling boys choir on the stereo and a good Christmas murder mystery to read before bedtime and perhaps that is the best I can ask for at this time. Tomorrow is another day and another opportunity for quiet peace, happiness, and Christmas enchantment. I'll let you know how I go.