Remember the days back when you used to look forward to the holiday season? Back when everything seemed so much simpler. I remember my favorite part wasn’t the time with family or what I was about to give or receive, it was getting ready that still is my best memory. It was taking down, off of the beams over our living and dining rooms, all of the tins my mom had collect over the years and dusting them. It was going through all the lights and spending hours checking each and every bulb, just to get as many strands to work as was possible. Simple things like being able to set up my trains around the Christmas tree are what made the holidays for me.
How life tends to complicate things never ceases to baffle me, but in this instance I cannot remember when I lost the “holiday spirit.” I would guess, like most people, I lost it a little bit at a time, over the years, as life took its toll on me. Also the year after year of commercialism, and the “I want” and me me ME attitude of most people, and it beginning about the same time as Halloween takes the joy right out of it. Most years I have to wonder why even take part in the tradition of Thanksgiving and Christmas. To me it has become not much more than exactly that, a tradition. Like many things at this point in my life I do them out of habit, or comfort, rather than not doing them out of want or desire or doing something different. Christmas of 2012 is when I officially retired from doing the usual hanging of the lights. It took many years and a lot of pain for me to finally admit last year that my legs had finally gotten to a point I could no longer climb the ladder to put up the lights. I did help and do the lower lights and directed my wife as she did the gutters and outlined the rest of the house. This last weekend I did not have to do much other than get her started again and do the bottom portion of the house. I am dreading having to do the inside decorations. Although they are pretty unique, I got most of them while stationed in Germany; I have lost pretty much all interest and joy in displaying them. I know the wife and kids will be nagging by this weekend, if not before then, to get them all out and displayed. I know it’s kind of sad. What is also kind of sad is almost every year now, for quite a few, I know what I am going to buy myself for Christmas. I am not trying to be a part of the me, me, me world, it is just the fact that I am the only source of income in my household, so therefore I buy my own Christmas present, even though my wife technically buys it. Couple this with the fact that she always says that for one reason or another I cannot be kept out of the loop of knowing what my Christmas present is going to be I have known what I am buying myself for Christmas almost every year.
I don’t mean to be a Grinch, but year after year it seems to be the same things not enough to pay the bills and give everyone a “Merry Christmas”, not being able to surprise anyone by what I get them (they only ask for 1 or 2 things), having to spend my holiday time with the in-laws (which should be a writing all and of itself), etc, etc. I could go on for awhile but will say everyone’s eyeballs the agony and the possible side effect of losing the holiday spirit yourself. I guess this season is like many things and times in my life when I just say to myself FIDO(F*!? It Drive On), and get through it the best I can.