My Post-Christmas Era

domestication, pretty things

Are we living in the post Christmas era?

I developed this hypotheses while droning through another semi-holiday special on a couch in a town where I once lived.

I could go on about the capitalism of Christmas. The loss of the true meaning – giving and thanks- but I’ll spare you.

Instead I shall in an equally depressing fashion eulogize Christmas and  family past. 

Family – that’s really the problem. Eight and a half yeas ago I stood dumbfounded as my personal Christmas spirit was lowered six feet into the ground. Honestly, Christmas died years earlier with a family rift and a collectors addition Barbie given a year late. The sting of heart break on the holidays never really dulls.  (Also, apparently 6 feet is a myth it’s totally not that deep anymore).

There was one person in my family that held everything together. I suppose we all have them. The one who hosts, cooks, wraps, chats and makes all things cheer. When the babies grow up, the children move away and our loved ones die so does the spirit of Christmas. Thus is getting older I suppose.

It’s three days after Christmas 2015 and I can guarantee that Ever is excited for Christmas 2016 already. She starts a serious countdown to her birthday and Christmas about July. I’m envious. To be fair this was a good year for my personal fervor- two time in particular, once this fall for Mexico and again for my the birth of my precious baby nephew. I should chalk it up to a good year.

Also, note worthy this holiday season were all of the times that I rejoiced in the early morning shrills of Ever finding Snowey doing something silly. We read The Night Before Christmas a few dozen times in an attempt to memorize a few more lines. I made ginger bread houses with my baby and sat idly as she decorated the Christmas tree all by her self. Yesterday as I prepared Santa’s packages I added a few more ornaments that I found in her backpack haphazardly to the branches. Our little ten dollar plastic tree draped in popsicle sticks and cardboard ornaments is absolutely beautiful. I’ll miss our sequined stockings, the lights, the anticipation until mid October when it will surely be back in full force. For a few more years at least.

My embittered spirit must be partially because my daughter looks at least three years over reality. To sound clichè just yesterday she was toddling around the Christmas tree. This year each of the little milestones felt less and less like soccer mom duty and more and more like the good days flying past me. I drop her off places and watch from the sidelines as she carries on like her own autonomous human. Da fuck. It’s true time is speeding up.

This Christmas I dropped in to see my baby for 30 minuets or less (she was at her other grandparents house), like you would an old high school friend turned acquaintance. My heart broke. Not because I won’t see her in a week and not because she doesn’t need to spend time the rest of her family but because she is my portal to the magic and merriment of the season. 

Is that sick? It’s true for all of my childless friends out there. Your babies will be your happiest and heaviest burden and when they are gone you are lost and broken. When they happen to be gone on a day that is already stripped of joy it’s hard not to seep into a puddle. 

Ahhh well I feel better I just blamed my Christmas blasè on Ever. Done.

But really it’s so much more. It’s not belonging to a family. It’s not having a family of my own. Yeah- yeah- family are the people you choose. Yes, I have choose some amazing people to share my world with. Some of those people I was able the spend the last few days with and that was and is always the best part of coming home. But still I can’t shake the bah humbug.

I’d like to officially blame everyone but myself.
Starting with the industrialized world. The increasing isolationism of our society. The lack of social connection. Living beyond our evolutionary scope. All of those things.

And *ahemmm* me. For not making some fucking lemonade. Short of one family’s holiday that I crashed a couple of years ago everyone else has gotten it wrong. It seems at all of the other family Christmas function that there’s a sliding scale from just barely tolerating each other for dear life to the exchanging of mildly amused times. No one is really having fun. Experiencing each other. It’s just fucking lame.

For the first time in my life I’m unabashedly jealous of those few insane people that I know that have had way too many children and are doing it right. Their homes and hearts look full. Yes that’s me stewing in envy on the other side of my mobile device. What I wouldn’t give to be surrounded by the people I love.

One day I’ll have the privilege of family again, if I have to birth them myself.

(I should also note that last year Christmas in Santa Fe was magical. Not only was I surrounded by some of my most favorite people but the whole town comes out and goes on a farolito walk around the plaza. Everyone gathers and sings Christmas carols. People set up bon fires and pass out pasole and hot chocolate. It’s everything that is still good and right in the world. That’s where I’ll be on December 24th from here on out, you can come too).
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