…or lack thereof.
The truth is, not everyone gets the full bubbly spirit every year. Maybe they’re having money problems. Maybe they’re having family problems. Maybe a loved one recently died or is ill. Or maybe the stars are just not aligned in such a way as to make them thrill to the sound of “I’ll Be Home for Christmas” and “O Come All Ye Faithful.” (I personally cannot bear to hear “I’ll Be Home for Christmas” any year, but that’s another story — er, blog post.)
But here’s the good news: you don’t actually have to have holiday spirit to get through the season. Isn’t that radical? You can just go day to day doing what you need to do (shop, wrap, cook, visit) and acknowledging you’re not all that into it this year. It’s OK.
I confess that I myself am not peaking out on holiday spirit this year. I think it has something to do with being a little tired from a busy autumn, and missing my family on the East Coast, and suddenly feeling like the hand-knitted gifts I made for folks look a little, well, not-so-fancy. But I’ve decided to go through the motions (I have children, so the Christmas show must go on) and be as kind to myself as I can. So I’ll be sure to go out and hear carols. And I’ll take long walks in the woods. And I’ll bake cookies with the children, but maybe not so many batches this year, so I can do it calmly, not all in a frenzied, floured rush.
Also, I’ll be ready for the Christmas spirit to spring out of unexpected places. Already it’s seeping in a little, because when my daughter’s girl scout troop suddenly discovered it had no place to bake cookies this weekend, I volunteered my own kitchen. This forced me to get the Christmas decorations out, find the music, and start mulling the cider. And you know what? It made me feel a little Christmas-y. Not over the top, carol-singing, Santa hat-wearing, grinning-from-ear-to-ear Christmas-y. Just kind of content. And cozy. And maybe that’s enough this year.